This holiday has a new significance for me this year. I love my country- I love the USA, and I feel that we are blessed. Probably too much with the convenience of anything we want or need at our disposal. We have a huge responsibility to each other to not to abuse this priviledge; however, we do.
Here's the thing: This experience at my Dad's funeral- receiving the flag was a moment in my life that I was proud to be an American. Proud to know my father served our country, and I gained a new appreciation for the country I was born and raised. We get so caught up in the battles that we forget we are given land, land to live in, land to have fun and play. We have accessible jobs, and we live on more than $2.00 a day- the amount of money people in real poverty stricken nations live on.
My Dad's casket was draped with this flag. And, we he was removed from the hertz, the soldiers saluted him. I was designated to receive the flag- and I knew this. But, the true beauty of the ceremonious practices just maintained a high regard for those who served, and the words spoken to me from the president of the United States were clear and respectful.
Taps- gets me every time- as if I wasn't already balling. And, the service men folded the flag, which I didn't know had so much significance. I found this online: http://www.legion.org/flag/folding Incredible. I also wanted to know what to do with the flag. It's been sitting in our living room on our ottoman greeting us as we walk in everyday, and I wanted to make sure I was treating it with respect.
The funeral practices with the military opened my eyes to a real military. It's not the one we see on the news- not the one that seems so distant. It became real to me. It became a thing that I am utmost appreciative.
The flag is hanging appropriately in the front of our house. And, I LOVE IT! It's just a real reminder of America- the people who make it up. The people who love our country and die for our country- who serve our country. When I've travelled outside of the US, returning home to American soil is familiar. It's home.
Being at the funeral, and facing east- we had a moment as we were in our final prayers to lie my Dad to rest, and this breeze- I mean a noticeable, beautiful, Holy Spirit breeze swept across us. It was, to me, Dad's final touch- as if he was pleased by all that was said and done. Maybe it's my imagination, but it felt so real. It was a real moment. A final signoff.
Here's the thing- maybe you're tired of reading about stuff like this. Stuff that's sad, or hard, or sad. But, I'm moved to write. It's been the best advice I've been given so far. So, sorry it's sad. But, you know what, there are seasons. And, I'm in this season. So, know that I'm genuinely happy- but, I've got to trudge through this writing with you/crying with you/smiling with you.
Anyway, this year, I'm thankful to be American. I'm glad to know all of you who served. And, Thank you.