Monday, July 04, 2005
It's the Fourth of July!
Ahh... the middle of summer. As a Minnesotan, I have mixed feelings about this time of year. It's wonderful that the weather is fabulous, everything is growing and the lakes are available for swimming and fishing. But it's also a bit sad, in that I realize that this time of year, that I have looked forward to for so long, is almost gone. The days are already getting shorter and before long, we will be gathering our nuts and feathering our nests in preparation for another brutal 9 month endurance test called winter. Oh well, let's enjoy it while we can!
My wife and I went to our local fourth of July celebration and sat right in the middle of the large crowd of people and prepared to be thrilled at the sight and sounds of "rockets red glare". Prior to the fireworks, as the orchestra was playing a medely of military marches, the MC had all those who had served in the military stand up when their particular service branch song came up. It was very moving to me to see all the white haired men struggle to stand up when their song started to play. As I listened and watched, I couldn't help but to feel an enormous sense of gratitude for these folks who sacrificed and risked everything to preserve this young country we enjoy. The audience applauded throughout the song as the different veterans stood and it made me proud to be a part of this great nation. As I looked around me I could see people of every shape, color, economic strata and cultural heritage showing their appreciation to the veterans who were standing. It felt good knowing that for all the differences we have on various issues we face today, for the most part, other than university and hollywood elites, we all still love this country and respect our military - past, present and future. They are the reason we continue to exist as a nation. And they have earned and continue to deserve our continued gratitude and honor.
Now it's back to preparing for winter.