Tonight we made the small trek over to DJ's aunt's home for her annual 4th of July Celebration. She lives very close to a park where they have an excellent firework show. We all sit out in her front yard sharing stories and the weeks events while we wait for the sun go down and the sky to light up. It's a night I truly enjoy because it reminds me of the old pictures I used to see of families out in their yards on the 4th of July watching the parades. We don't see that much anymore, whole neighborhoods getting together and celebrating our country and our freedoms.
Tonight I recalled my 10th year, when I was in cub scouts and I was in a 4th of July parade and I was chosen to carry the U.S. Flag the entire parade route. My parents were so proud, they walked along next to me taking pictures with their new Polaroid and dad filming on his old 35mm camera. True Americana.
I also thought of our soldiers that are in Iraq and how tonight the skies where they are will also be lit up, but not from fireworks celebrating independence. How they are away from their families and friends and neighbors, trying to do their jobs but probably deep in their hearts wanting so much to be in their front yards watching the fireworks.
I also thought about why they are there. I rarely comment in my blog regarding politics or religion. My father always has told me that those are two things you do not discuss in mixed company. But as I sat there tonight I thought about how most of the wars in the past were for a cause, and how Americans all over the country were proud of what we were doing by sending our servicemen and women to foreign fields. Today when you ask the response is almost always the same. "I support our troops, they are just doing their job, but they need to be back home."
The situation in Iraq continues to go on and on, with no end in sight and more and more of our men and women die every day.
My celebration tonight seemed a little melancholy as I thought on this. Yes, Americans are still proud if their son or daughter is chosen to carry the U.S. flag in the 4th of July parade. Yes, they are proud of their sons and daughters when they choose to enlist in the armed services and hang their pictures in their homes with honor and pride. But mention our President's name and the war in Iraq, then the tune changes. It's time for our troops to come home, with flags waving and the bands playing letting them know how proud were are of them. It's time for our President to get the message. It's time to restore honor in our White House and Capital Hill. 2008 can not get here soon enough.
Hope you and your family have a safe and Happy 4th, and as we celebrate let's remember those that are out there in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan and pray that they soon come home alive and proud to be an American as they should be.