Friday, July 04, 2014


'Merica.  Independence Day, 2014.  238 years since the "Declaration of Independence" came into effect.  Contrary to popular opinion I have not personally witnessed the passing of all those years.  But I have lived through 59 of them.  And I have learned some things along the way. 

My father told me when I was a child that he neither needed nor planned on leaving the United States ever again.  He had seen as much of the world as he desired to see.  His view was from beneath the brim of a steel helmet.  Dad learned about northern Africa, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany through the lenses of WWII.  Unfortunately, when dad thought of the rest of the world he pictured death and destruction.  And that really is not true.  Deep inside, dad knew that.  He was wrong.  Yet I understand why he felt that way.  He was plucked up from his comfortable, safe, Arkansas, a rifle was placed in his hand, and he was sent off to free a place he most likely had not even read about.  My dad had a 4th grade education.  There isn't much European history taught to 9 year olds in Arkansas. His head must have been spinning with the realization that the ocean is wide and there were people on the other side waiting to kill him.  And he didn't even know why.  But dad was right about America.  There is a reason why our current headlines center around immigration.  It seems that everyone  wants to come here.  And, it only follows, that there is a reason why they want to come.  Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time wondering or worrying about how the rest of the world views the United States.  I am too busy viewing it as Home.

Having said that ...

I'm sick of paying an increasing amount of my income on taxes.  But I sure do enjoy the highways and the clean water and the snow removal, and the police protection, and the fire protection, and the national parks, and the safe bridges, and the ... you get my point.  Right?

I'm weary of "leaders" who keep a list of talking-points on their sleeves, as though the rest of us cannot think past the rhetoric thrown our way, like treats fed to a dog to keep him pacified.  Leaders do not do that.  Politicians do.

I'm hungry for someone to take the reins again.  Point us in the right direction.  Address the issues that threaten to crush us and make us just like every other country.  Someone who will smile a determined smile and say, "Here is what we need to accomplish and here is how we are going to do it."  And I want the direction they point me in to be a noble direction.  I will vote for that.  I will support that.  I will pray to God for that.

I do not have a recollection of my dad owning a house that did not have a tall flag pole adorned with the Stars and Stripes.  And at the end of every day, as the sun slipped below the horizon, he or my brother and I could be found in the front yard, respectfully lowering the colors, folding them into a tightly stretched triangle, and stowing them away until the next morning.  My country was built on the shoulders of my father and men like him.  I have poured my life into trying to better and preserve this nation by bringing the King of Kings to the forefront with every breath I take.  When I sing, say, or pray, "God bless America," I do it from a place of deep belief and conviction.  I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God first.  He blessed me by making me a citizen of the United States of America second. And I honor this day as a way of saying "Thank you" to the one who put a beating heart in my chest and to those who have kept it that way, dedicating themselves to the preservation of my home away from Home.