Friday, May 21, 2010

This is my Country, To Have and to Hold

I always hesitate to go to anything that reminds me of my patriotism. Not because I don't like our country--actually, it's the exact opposite-- I love America, what it stands for, where we've been, and our potential for the future. Being the granddaughter of American soldiers, one who freed concentration camps, raided Hitler's homes, and protected our freedoms to their very core; AND being the daughter of an accomplished retired Colonel of the United States Air Force-- a man who would give his life not only for his children but all our country's children to defend the American Ideal-- my patriotism is a part of my very soul.

Tonight, I had the privilege to go to my son's Patriotic Program at his small school. Children from 5 years old to 18 years old sang beautiful anthems, songs, hymns about our very Nation. The speaker reminded us of the history our men and women have built upon their bloodshed, their belief in our Nation.
The speaker spoke about the Grief and Pride that went along with those who have died for us. Grief for the death of noble men and women; Pride in the ultimate price they paid to defend our Freedom. I wish I wasn't so in-tuned to the "state of our union" now. Because those very words, Grief and Pride, carry different meaning to me in this context. I forsee the Grief of the death of that very Pride in our country-- that Pride being replaced by a disturbingly divided nation where the loudest voices, even if an elite few, bully the rest of us into dark faithless territories. They suppress our very patriotism to the point of suffocation.
We are the nation that sought Freedom of Religion, providing sanctuary for Christians to worship freely and the way they chose to. We are the nation that ended the terrible act of slavery. We are the nation that destroyed Naziism. We are the nation who ended the Cold War and brought down the Berlin Wall. We ended the reign of Saddam Hussein, and began a much deserved war on Terror. We are the nation that aids victims of hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, drought, inhumane power, hunger, disease. We do all this, and yet so many point fingers at the wrong we do.
The conductor of the program reminded us of our duty as American parents to leave a legacy for our children to carry on in the name of America, and this is when I couldn't hardly stand it. As I look at our country today-- the division, the deliberate degradation of anything upstanding and moral, choosing to focus only on the wrong we have done-- how difficult it is to see the hope that my son could truly live to his potential as a citizen of a great Nation. And then to watch the high school students act out a  scene of taking the oath of citizenship, my heart was further twisted, knowing THAT isn't even worth much anymore.
Honestly, I could almost look past the controversial social issues that plague our Nation today, if I knew that at least our American foundation and security were not in jeopardy. But, to take away American flags in fear of offending someone on our OWN soil, to tell a decorated war veteran that he can't have a flag pole in his yard because of a homeowner's association, to allow a foreign leader to bash our laws in our own Government buildings-- we are disrespectful, spoiled little children who want our own way even if it's not beneficial. These things and many, MANY more are chipping away at our foundation and I fear the hearts of those that encourage this have not one ounce of patriotism left.
My very hope is in the Revival that I know many Christians are praying for. My hope is that God hasn't given up on us yet, and He will continue to bless this Nation through the strong upstanding citizens that our generation is raising. We are a Nation that wants to keep our arms open to all who seek shelter, but we won't be able to if we implode on ourselves. Please hear this as a call to action, a call to rethink who we are, what we stand for, and what and who we should stand up too. Our country is GREAT for many many reasons, and our comfortable, entitled, legalistic lifestyles can't be our demise.

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