For Love of Country - Grand or HumbleSix years ago we took our first trip to the east coast. We had an amazing 2 1/2 weeks and saw so many wonderful historic sites and sights. One place that was truly impressive was our tour of Gettysburg. There was a reverence and awe in this sacred place. We viewed hundreds of impressive statues and huge monuments honoring the brave men who fought for what they believed in as we walked on the very fields where they battled and died. We read the plaques and learned of the sacrifices they made. We toured Boston and were even more moved as we remembered all the extraordinary and famous men and women we've read about in history books, who sacrificed their all to give us freedom. Again we walked where they walked and saw many beautiful statues and monuments with plaques memorializing their brave contributions.
Then, on the outskirts of an area where so much of these early events took place, we ran upon this small, unmarked cemetery. Most of the markers were of this same era. No big statues or plaques, but one simple American flag beside a grave. Somehow this struck me as even more poignant. I thought about the thousands or hundreds of thousands of brave and patriotic men and women there have been throughout American history who have also sacrificed their all and who have also loved this country as much. And for the most part, their stories are untold, and these are the backbone of this great nation.
I quote the chorus from one of my all time favorite patriotic songs by Lee Greenwood that never fails to bring tears to my eyes: "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. For there ain't no doubt, I love this land, GOD BLESS THE USA!"
Happy 4th of July!