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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Happy Birthday America

What a great holiday weekend. There were a few people near and dear to my heart that I would have liked to have seen to make this a perfect weekend, but it definitely rates high as far as holiday weekends go.

On Saturday, we headed over to Tinker Air Force Base for their Salute to America. It was great to watch the Air Force's Thunderbirds. I'm still amazed every time.

But I got a little chocked up on the way out of the base. It was still a little before the show ended, and there were more to come but we had to leave. As we drove out, "America" was playing on 930 AM as part of the overall program. To have that play as we drove by families who were congregated at various locations sitting in lawn chairs, pick up beds, or on blankets on the grass all looking skyward -- that just seemed so American.

It was a simple thing, yet so definitive of being American.

I've been fortunate in my lifetime to experience some memorable Independence Days. Some that stand out culminate with fireworks at an air force base in Japan where the Americans stopped, stood still, hands over heart or at full salute when the anthem was played; Busch Gardens - Williamsburg where the fireworks seemed to explode around us in an all-ecompassing display; and my favorite -- sitting on the lawn of the Joint Chief of Staff's home in Virginia atop the national Capitol where we could see the fireworks burst over so many of the symbols of freedom that we know.

To me, it's always a time to celebrate and reflect on the freedoms that we take for granted like sitting in the bed of a pick up and watching jets zooming across the sky or voting on election day.

Our country is not perfect, we have poverty, hatred and sorrow. But we have so much to be proud of.

God Bless you America, and God Bless our troops around the world.

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