I have been up since 4:30 this morning. This is particularly annoying to me since this is a vacation day from work. I have too many thoughts tumbling around in my head. I need to get the bathroom cleaned so I can invite the apartment repairman to fix the showerhead. I really should try another crack at those wedding thank you notes. The list goes on and on. One recurring visitor in my mind is the experiences leading up to and including Independence Day. I guess I figure if I blog about it, my mind will be free to let it go.
I have always been an extremely patritotic person, almost an oddity to others while I was growing up. Even from the time I was a little girl, a good song about our country could bring tears to my eyes. I went into my chosen profession (the study of History) because I was fascinated by the background of America. My dream is to steal the job from that chic who reports on the elections for NBC. I know. I am a nerd. I already joined a twelve step program for the problem.
On Sunday the 29th we had an amazing sacrament meeting. A young couple in our ward (in their early twenties) spoke on the role of Latter-Day Saints in America. She had recently returned home after being deployed to Iraq for 10 months. Tears fell as she described her experiences guarding Iraqis at the F.O.B.. She quoted the French statesman Alexis de Tocqueville:
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests — and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce — and it was not there … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. "
Her husband, who is also in the army, immigrated here from the Philippines. He told of how his cousins, aunts, and uncles live in abject poverty there. Their homes have been destroyed by unrest and natural disaster, but they are not not jealous of him. They view him as "the chosen one" and are proud of his opportunity to live in America. After the talks, we all stood to sing our national anthem. I have seldom heard a hymn rock the chapel, but this day it did. With 90% of our ward being immigrants, military, or retired military, we sang that song with so much pride it hurt. I couldn't help it. I cried.....
Cory and I spent the week before the holiday watching all the parts to a miniseries about World War II. What we enjoy today certainly didn't come cheap. I imagine that the sacrafice of those who came before us who made our lifestyle possible cannot even be numbered. May we never forget.
I had the privilege to march in our itty bitty home town parade with my cub scouts. I have never been in a parade before. It was humbling to march by the parade viewers. They always picked up their cheering when our cub scouts walked by. I think there is something inspiring and stirring about an eight year old in a uniform representing the ideals of American. It gives you the feeling that everything is going to be okay.
We spent the evening barbequeing and setting off fireworks at a new friend's home from our ward. I don't think I have felt that much joy in a really long time.