Posts tagged ‘flag’

Happy Birthday America

Soon as I got up today, I went out on the side porch to hang the flag. Realized that the once-a-puppy dogwood tree growing next to the porch had grown so much that the flag would drape over the leaves and branches.

Went down to the garage and got clippers. Hacked away for a while and realized that, without a chain saw, I probably wasn’t going to be able to make enough room for the flag to fly properly.

Went down to the garage and got my sonic screw driver. Unscrewed the screws that hold the brace to the porch railing and moved the brace a foot or so to the right. Attempted to reattached the screws.

Went down the porch stairs to retrieve the brace and screw; then, went down to the garage to get a hammer and nail to make starter holes. Voila! Two of three screws are back in perfectly snug and the third is halfway in and stripped. But it holds the flag just fine.

Might seem like a lot of effort . . . but, of course, relatively, that was nothing — less than nothing — less than 1/1,000,000th of nothing — compared to the brilliant and brave who gave us our land of the free and those who have kept it that way for more than two centuries. To the U.S. soldier who sent me this flag and all our founding father and military life preservers, I say:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, under God, indivisible, 
with liberty and justice for all.

Happy Birthday America.

4th of July, 2014

July 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Thank You, U.S. Soldier

September 11 is not a subject I would normally consider a topic for this blog. But, with respect, I would like to share a story.

A few years back, I joined a group called Soldiers Angels, a non-profit organization designed to support the troops. You sign up and, once approved, receive a name and a military address of an active-duty military person. 

You “adopt” a soldier and commit to sending letters and care packages for as long as that person is deployed. (I do think “adopt” is a bit too familiar and quite the overstatement. I think of it more like being a secret Santa or airmail waitress.)

Should you want to, you can learn more about Soldiers Angels at soldiersangels.org. In addition to adopting a soldier, there are a variety of one-time things you can do to support the troops via the website.

On Tuesday of this week, in a completely unexpected, totally unnecessary table-turn, I received a care package from one of my “adopted” soldiers. (He is home safe.)

Inside the box was an American flag with a note explaining that this flag had flown, in Iraq, on the anniversary of September 11 in 2008.

I was stunned and amazed.

And goose-bumped and teary-eyed.

And something more. Something I’m not sure I can totally explain, but I feel the need to try.

The idea of where this flag has been and what it stands for. This banner o’er the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. This badge of power. The Good Guys panache. This symbol of who we are. Of who we have always been.  

For nine years, September 11 has triggered nothing but a deep and inconsolable sadness, a thick shadow of grief that doesn’t ebb, an abyss I must draw back from to function in the everyday. But. To have this flag in my hands and to have in my head this image of the spirit of those who serve. To imagine an American soldier flying this flag, honoring the Stars and Stripes–and all of us–in Iraq, on September 11. To hold something so beautiful and patriotic and . . . tangible.

Well.

It comforts me.

It humbles me.

God bless America. And God bless those who serve.

September 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm 6 comments


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