"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides (Ancient Greek Historian and Author 460-404 B.C.)
We went to our grandson's elementary school musical program last week. Their teacher chose a patriotic theme and here in this picture they are singing a song about the red, white and blue of the American flag - the symbol of our country and the flag that many soldiers have followed into battle. The kids led all of us in the Pledge to the Flag and then they recited the Preamble to the Constitution. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..."
Some things just give a citizen chills and bring tears to the eyes no matter how many times you hear it, and hearing it from a group of fourth and fifth graders made it even more touching as it was easy to see their enthusiasm and pride in being American. At the end of the program the teacher asked the veterans to stand to be recognized. We did that this morning in church and more than half the men in our church were standing. These men served their country and came home to continue their lives. Others did not. Others gave their all in service to their country and tomorrow is a day set aside to remember those men and women.
My father didn't serve in World War II. He was exempted because he was a farmer. Two uncles were in the war. A cousin served in Vietnam and a brother-in-law worked on airplanes in the Phillipines during the Vietnam War. I'm sure all of you have veterans in your family you're proud of or perhaps you served in the armed forces yourself. If so, thank you. My husband sings in a Southern Gospel group called The Patriot Quartet and they have a song out on the radio "I'm Proud to Be an American Christian." In nearly all their concerts the song gets people on their feet and many times it's the veterans who are first to stand. They've put their lives on hold and stood for America before. And that's why I get teared up when I hear patriotic songs. Because being an American matters.
How do you feel when you say the Pledge to the Flag or hear the National Anthem?