the nest

the nest

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The National Anthem

The other day we went to the local Memorial Day Parade.  It's a sweet small town parade and reminds me how proud I am to live in the U.S. despite the many things we can't seem to get right.  The very fact that we are free to disagree and protest makes it a great place to live.

In college I had the opportunity to travel to Eastern Europe with my college choir - the summer of 1988, before the Berlin Wall came down.  We learned the National Anthems of each county we visited, not realizing that the citizens of those countries were not allowed to sing them.  I remember vividly our concert in Estonia when we began their National Anthem and within the first few notes, the audience was on their feet singing and weeping with us.  These songs were never on our program, so it was always a surprise to our hosts.  As a 20 year old student from the Midwest, I was stunned.   On our return from what was a life changing trip, I was watching a baseball game on t.v. with my Dad and was outraged when the camera scanned the stands and there were people sitting and laughing and goofing around while OUR National Anthem was sung; even making fun of it as they screeched out my favorite note ~ the one that always chokes me up ~  I had never felt such indignation in my young life!  I don't remember exactly what my Dad said, but it was something to the effect of "we are free to not only sing out National Anthem, but to ignore it or mock it as well."

There are so many things about our country that make me nutty right now.  I'm still so very proud to live in a country that, for now, allows me to speak my mind.  If I don't like something, it is my right to step up and work to change it.

That first concert is why I will always vote.
It is why I will always stand respectfully and sing our National Anthem.
It is why I will continue to teach my children to respect the laws of our land or work to change the ones they disagree with.  

It is why I will continue to be proud that I am an American even when I am disappointed or angered by the inability of our leaders to balance the need to protect our freedoms while caring for those who can't care for themselves.

Oh say can you see...

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