Proud to be an American

I’m thankful.  I’m grateful.  I’m appreciative.  I’m beyond blessed.  To an extent I already knew these facts but the reality and truth of these [and more] hit me hard after my most recent trip to Israel and Jordan.  The Israeli people are truly proud of their homeland and daily sacrifice their lives and families for its existence.

Most of my daily decisions, although some try to pose as monumental benchmarks, are trivial at best.  Life has been placed into new perspective for me. 

I used to think people who wore camo and sported American flags were freaks.  Maybe because these camo wearing, flag sporting folks also tended to be boozed and doped up and have a fondness for hunting furry living creatures in the woods.  However, thanks to my most recent trip I realized in my heart something my head has always known….human blood was shed for our American freedom.  Human lives were sacrificed for my right to raise my children with religious freedom, for my right to blog, for my right to publically disagree with our government and not be killed or mutilated, for my right to walk with my husband not behind him in veiled procession, for my right to dye my hair purple and wear orange polka dots if I so desire in the name of fashion…and the list goes on.  Freedom, our American freedom represented by a simple red, white and blue flag…America. 

As a whole we Americans do not treat our country very well.  We are disrespectful.  We are hateful.  We are spoiled.  We are unaware.  We are ungrateful for our freedoms.  I learned from the Jewish people what it means to have pride and respect for one’s country.  What it means and looks like to remember the sacrifices and never forget the cost.  Someone, somewhere, at some time in history paid the price for the life that we are living.  Could it be that so many people are living and reaping the benefits of American life without having had to sacrifice for it?  What does it mean to be an American?  What has it cost us? What is our history?  Do we know the cost of freedom?  Do our children know the cost paid for their freedom?

I’m going out to buy a flag.  I’m proud to be an American.  I’m thankful for our country, warts and all.

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