I've always been patriotic. Since 9-11, I'm even more so!!
I was raised around heroes, who knew the meaning of patriotism.
My Dad served his country during the Korean Conflict; he was a a flight engineer and sometimes navigator in the United States Air Force.
My Dad's brothers, all four of them, also served in the United States military. If I remember correctly, one was in the Navy (and had three ships shot out from under him--he survived), one was in the Army (he was one of the few men that survived the Bataan Death March...and subsequently was a prisoner of war for over three years. This was my Uncle Andrew--we all called him "Uncle Duke." He passed away a couple of years ago, and I miss him); the other two were in the Air Force.
My brother was in the United States Air Force; he stayed in four years.
They were the heroes; they faced combat situations. I didn't.
I joined the United States Air Force in 1983; enlisted for four years, but wound up serving only two...hurt my back in the service, and was honorably discharged in 1985.
I may not have joined for the same reasons my Dad, my uncles or brother joined, but I wanted to do my part...too bad I never got to leave Texas...I wanted to travel. They all got to go to different parts of the world...I never left the Lone Star State! (Oh, well.)
So, I know what it was to be patriotic. To respect our Flag. To know what freedom means. To know what price many had to pay to preserve that freedom.
The sight of the red, white and blue on the United States Flag gets my heart to pumping. Since September 11, my heartbeat's been faster...it makes me proud that our country united instead of letting this tragedy tear us apart. I've taken to wearing much more in the way of patriotic t-shirts, letting everyone I know that I'm proud to be an American.
The sounds of patriotic music is more prevelant than it has been. The words have more meaning. When we sing, "O, say can you see/ by the dawn's early light/ What so proudly we hailed/ at the twilight's last gleaming/ Whose broad stripes and bright stars/ through the perilous fight/ O'er the ramparts we watched/ were so gallently streaming/ And the rocket's red glare/ the bombs bursting in air/ Gave proof through the night/ that our flag was still there/ O, say does that star spangled banner yet wave/ o'er the land of the free/ and the home of the brave?," why, it brings chills up and down my spine.
Our Flag was still there. Despite facing unspeakable horrors, the Flag was raised when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and again by firemen at the fallen World Trade Center. We were still here, battered, bruised, wounded and torn; but we were here.
We're STILL here.
God gave me a Gift on September 11, an unexpected blessing. I always used to hold everything inside...where it would boil like a raging lake of lava. When things built up internally to where (I felt) I couldn't take it anymore, I'd erupt. I was such an angry, bitter person.
I am able to write things down now, and release my happiness, or frustration, or anger, or sadness; I am a much happier person. People have seen a change in me. It's nothing I've done...all of the credit goes to God.
Lately, many of my poems and articles have dealt with how much I love this country. And I do love America, very much. Even though I would still like to travel all over the world, America is my home!
I'm proud that God let me be born here. Due to the fact that I was born here, I am endowed with certain rights. One of those is freedom.
I'm blessed that He let me be born here where I can live my life where I have the freedom of choice.
I can worship the way I want.
I have the opportunity to change the world, and so many freedoms to enjoy, just because I was born here in America.
Thank God for all of my freedoms.
God bless America...my home, sweet home! God bless America...my home, sweet home!! :)