Oh Earth, What Changes Hast Thou Seen


We're a blue state now............, North Carolina, USA
August 21
Mother of boys; favorite magnet says "coffee is my only friend"; closet bodybuilder; once in a professional class, the teacher asked if anyone in the room was a geek and I was the only one who raised my hand; my liberal arts education has led me to know just enough about everything to consistently get the daily trivia at Caribou correct; always welcoming opportunities to build more character on my journey to self-actualization.....


JULY 3, 2009 1:36AM

Pride and Progeny

Rate: 9 Flag

This is my flag that I bought on 9/11. 


I did not own a flag before that terrible day, although I have always had a patriotic streak. 

My first memory of a 4th of July was visiting my grandparents in Ft. Monroe, Virginia.  I was six years old and it was my first trip away without my parents.  I adored my grandparents and worshipped my aunt who was only six years older than I was.  I remember we had a delicious meal of smoked pork chops, green beans and new potatoes. (I really remember that- it was so special!) We then set off to the bandstand for the 4th of July festivities.  My grandfather was a Lt. Colonel and was dressed in full uniform and my grandmother, the consummate military spouse, was immaculate.  We started walking across the parade grounds and people were streaming from the barracks, everyone walking briskly to the main event.  All of a sudden, the Star-Spangled Banner started playing.  I was skipping along, and felt myself grabbed up and planted firmly with a harsh whisper, “Put your hand on your heart!”  I looked around and everyone, EVERYONE, was stopped.  Perfectly still, sharp salutes, hands over hearts. Silent. Reverent.  I was in awe.  A song, a simple song, had that effect on that many big people. 

 This is a sticker I have on my refrigerator:


How grateful I am that:

§   Our forefathers declared our Independence on July 4, 1776.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

§  That men and women have fought and died, and continue to do, so for our unalienable rights.

Because of this:

§  Today, I am not wearing a burqua.

§  I was not stoned to death or beheaded in a soccer field for having pre-marital sex or for being an alcoholic and drug addict.

§  I was able to get not one, but two college degrees.

§  I have, sitting openly, on my bookshelf copies of Das Kapital, Mien Kampf, the Bible and the Quoran.

§  I voluntarily bought a flag on 9/11, and I display it proudly. 

§  I get goosebumps singing The National Anthem at football games.

§  I can write about any topic, and not worry that I will be imprisoned.

§ I was allowed to have more than one child.

This guy is 21 now. 

I remember his first 4th of July. He was 9 months old and I had just put him to bed when I heard fireworks.  I plucked him out of bed, raced to the car and drove in the direction of the sounds.  I pulled over to the side of the road, and crawled on top of my blue 240 DL Volvo. The hood was warm from the hot, Texas, July night.  I leaned back with him on my chest and held his little body next to mine while we watched the fireworks.  Now he is  studying abroad in Japan and wants to be an expatriate :-) although Obama's win might have reclaimed him. 

He is what I am most proud of.

This little guy is now 13 and off to camp.  See how meticulously I cared for this outfit that it lasted 8 years between kids!!! 

He is what I am most proud of.

I was a business major but took a history class in which I learned of the CIA involvement in Iran in 1954, of the US government involvement in Latin America dating back to the 1890's, the decimation of native Americans, etc.  It was my first exposure to the REAL history of America, not the watered down version of high school.  I was hooked and switched my undergraduate major to history.  I read and read.  I was shocked and disillusioned.  I went through my "I hate America, America is terrible" phase.

As a student of history and of the world, today I believe that despite the past (and present) faults, failures and mistakes of American society, The United States of America, a country that is truly the most racially, religiously and ethnically diverse in the world, has the best possibility, over time, to continue to evolve in a way that will truly allow each and every person to develop to his or her potential; to attain the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

Obama rally

(All three of us at an Obama rally, 10/2009) 

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  ~The Declaration of Independence 

 It appears that we did this again on November 4, 2008.  This is what I am most proud of.

Happy 4th of July!!!

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I've been wracking my brain for something I'm proud of since first seeing the Open Call about it. To be honest, I've been having a hard time thinking of something about America I'm proud of, but reading this makes me realize I wasn't trying hard enough. Thanks M B.
nanatehay: Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comment. Happy 4th!
MB - absolutely wonderful post

nan - being proud to be an American doesn't necessarily have to equate with being happy about all things in America. Our founding Fathers weren't happy either. And look what they did.
Boomer: Thanks for stopping by!
oh, sweetie, this is a wonderful and moving post. you make great kids, MB. those little ones are lovely and i'm sure they are just as lovelly now, at camp and in Japan. what you wrote is so true and i also tear up when the Star spangled banner is played. i never thought i was much of a patriot but it turns out i'm a huge one. i cry at all the America songs. and i have a small american flag on my apartment door. it's on a dog, but whatever, right?

i'm angry about health care and so many things, but what i always remember is that we have the right to be angry and to express almost all our thoughts and feelings. the patriot act and all of that being the exception.

anyway, im' tired from redneck in-laws and so many birthday wishes on here and from eating much too much cake and ice cream, but i just wanted to say hi and give you your props, girl, for this wisdom. love love love and gratitude!!!
Marvelous. Thoughtful and honest. And great kid pics, by the way! I, too, had fun at the Obama rallies. (And I really like your refrigerator sticker). Happy 4th!
Theo: I hope you had a wonderful birthday! It is great that we can be angry and express it without fear of retribution.
Steve: The rally we went to was cool. I went to one of Clinton's bus tour stops in 1992 and that was fun too, but this was a different kind of energy. Happy 4th to you.
oh, shit, i forgot to say Happy Fourth to everyone!!!
A pognant and touching post. And those 4th of July outfits are so fab - wish I had one. 'Course I 'd have to be drinking to wear it.
Theo: Happy 4th to you!
JK: Previous 4 years! Try 8!!! :-)
Grif: You would look great in that outfit- I would have to be drinking to say that! Thanks for reading.
Thanks UK. Same to you.
I love your list of things you are grateful for. Me too for the same list!
Wonderful! Happy 4th to you and yours!
Deborah: Thank you!
o'stephanie: Happy 4th of July to you and yours and your bird too!