I hope that everyone had a great celebration of our nation’s birthday the other day. The following morning, going through the pictures on my friends’ Facebook pages, I was struck with a pleasant sense of patriotism. There were pictures of parades, cookouts, fireworks, and happy faces. In many pictures, either in the foreground or background was a flag with its red, white, and blue sparkling in the hot sun.
I was fortunate to participate in the local parade with an organization I belong to. Aside from being very hot, it was a lot of fun. Everyone was smiling, laughing, and waving flags large and small. I was riding in the back of a pickup truck taking care of giving out supplies whenever anyone of our group on the ground needed a refill. We also had a cooler filled with ice water, which was pretty much empty by the end of the parade. The other person in the truck with me was in charge of making sure everyone got water that needed it.
Later that day, my husband and our biking buddy rode on the trail. We ran into a career army officer who was home on leave from Iraq and had decided to ride his wife’s bike for the day. He and his son, who was due home in a week, had been in Iraq for a couple of years. We all chatted and compared wars as my husband is a Vietnam vet. I was curious to know if the festivities of the day meant more or less to this solider because of his service to our country, however, I didn’t get to ask the question. I did feel a mixture of feelings from gratitude to sorrow for all of our armed men and women who fight in these wars and reflected on our nation’s history of embattlements for all of the freedoms we tend to take for granted. At the end of it all was a joyous display of fireworks and a remembrance that we have a lot to be grateful for living in this country.