I started pondering Memorial Day last night when a Facebook friend posted a link to the Lee Greenwood Song "God Bless the USA" This song stirs up many emotions inside of me. Last night was no exception and as usual, the song moved me to tears.
I thought of the fact that both of my grandfathers served during World War 2. I thought of my father who served in the Army during the Korean War. I thought of my uncles, especially my Uncle Wayne who went to Vietnam. I even thought of my cousins who have served in the military. I thought of my husband who served in the Army National Guard during Desert Storm thought his unit was never called to active duty and thought of my friends who did serve active duty during that time and I thought of my husband and all the soldiers I knew who served during the recent Gulf War and who continue to serve in dangerous places to ensure freedom.
I did not like having my husband "playing in the big sandbox" when a war was going on even if he wasn't on Iraqi soil. Politically, I did not agree with the war, but even in the midst of my disagreement I was keenly aware of the fact that it was men (and women) who fought for my freedom to have the right to disagree! And though I did not agree with the war, I do support the troops. I am grateful for their willingness to serve their country. I am grateful for the service members who have given their lives so that I have the freedoms that I do.
I am not always proud to be an American. I cringe at the stereotypical image of American Tourist in Europe. I am not always proud to be an American when I see my government making choices and polices that I think are wrong or detrimental, but I am always grateful to be an American. I am grateful for my freedoms. Today, in gratitude, I remember those who fought (and some died) to give me those freedoms. If gratitude is part of pride, then I am proud to be American and my heart swells with pride for those who serve this nation.