“As beautiful as a flower…” That’s what the city of Canton, China said of our flag in 1784. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams described it as having a new constellation. It flew monumentally above Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Jefferson, before they were ever committed to granite at Rushmore.
It is a glowing, and growing light, flying ahead of great men and women, pointing towards a better future. That has always been the truth, from thirteen small colonies to fifty states, I love the history of our country. When I think of it, I visualize a cold Valley Forge, a solemn Gettysburg, France’s Argonne Forest, and D Day.
Heroes, some well known, others known only by their actions. My heart swells at the thoughts those American GI’s opening the doors of Auschwitz, making hope a reality. I also think of a tea party in Boston, a harbor in Hawaii, and two towers in New York.
Each generation would have challenges to answer, hardships to endure, and tragedies to overcome. Many of which, had not been faced by those before them. America, named for an Italian mapmaker, has always been a trailblazer.
She strives to be as noble as the lady in her harbor. As brave, as those men at Iwo Jima. An as wise as the bearded gentleman from Kentucky, Illinois, or Indiana.
Like Lincoln, all of America’s children, have little bits of each part of our country in us. Each of us, can hear, in our mind’s ear, our favorite singer’s renditions of the Star Spangled Banner. All go to some lyric, person, or event that causes patriotism to swell in our hearts on this day.
I’m reminded of Cohan and Cagney, and those Yankee Doodle Boys. A red haired comedian, of great articulation, Mr Skelton, and his Pledge Of Allegiance. Or two other baggy pants comedians, Benny and Hope, who both entertained more troops than any other person.
I think of statesmen and soldiers first, but then those civilians who risked their lives, fortune, and future traveling to entertain those soldiers in far flung regions of the globe. Men and women, not in uniform, did what they could, to make other Americans’s lives a little better.
They did so, because they recognized the greater sacrifices those they were serving were making. During sad days, they paired laughter with bravery. Our country, like all, has its valleys, but oh how beautiful our mountains. Flaws are only final, if we don’t rise above them.
We continue to climb, planting the seeds of freedom. Working to shine liberty’s torch into new areas, and keeping in our minds what this banner means. For it is more than a symbol of what was, or a promise of what could be. It’s something that is always with each American.
It is a constant reassurance, that if they did it, we could grow into it also. It’s a consistent star charting us to new endeavors. An finally it’s a monument to the fact that God has blessed this land, and it’s our duty to seek His providence on it for many years to come.