I was looking through my social media early one morning and was reminded how special the American spirit is to the world. This is a weekend for reflection to many, and as I reflect, I’m reminded how this spirit survives despite America’s government. The separation is clear.
I see the disconnect in the millions of heartfelt messages from folks about our service members who sacrificed all. Many of these messages are from folks who don’t know the pain of this loss personally, but empathize with those that do. We remember the WW11 widow who went on to make a new life with her scrapbook of memories of a love only dreamt, because no one gets left behind.
I read the anecdotes from a friend in Honduras sad about leaving friends behind to return home. I see photo’s of smiling men laboring to improve learning and living conditions for folks thousands of miles away. I feel the American spirit in their photos.
I see young soldiers with backpacks full of miniature flags walking rows of white headstones placing each one with the care of a loved one. I imagine in his mind the glory he dreamt of how each patriot found his home there.
I read about young folks just starting their journey in life upon graduating from 15 years of security and learning. I’ve watched them over the years clean houses and yards for older folks less fortunate. I’ve watched them build structures to lighten the burden for those less physically fortunate. I see the American spirit.
I see photos of babies. Some in hospitals and some taking the first step in a family video. As I read the comments I feel the pain and joy of folks distant or near as the empathize or celebrate with the parents joy or sorrow.
I’ve read the stories of Europe being attacked and the heartfelt comments from Americans who desperately want to ease the pain of someone they can’t even imagine, or might not have even liked. I see the cover photos superimposed with foreign flags in solidarity with folks they will never know.
I see my neighbors cutting each other’s grass. I see the person at the cash register receive change from the cashier because they were a few cents short. I see the folks on the side of the road laughing and joking as they change a flat tire. I read on yard sake sites of mothers giving away baby clothes that no longer fit to anyone who might need them. Everywhere I look I see the American spirit.
There are folks outside and within our country that would have you believe being American is something evil. They’ll point to political figures. They’ll try and convince you that lies and deceit are the coin of our realm. Hell, they’ll even try to convince you we’re responsible for the Christian crusades if you listen long enough. Some of these accusation are truths and half truths of our government, but they aren’t part of the American spirit.
Take time to really reflect this weekend, folks died for this holiday. They died for you before your parents were born. They died before they had children or families of their own. Don’t feel bad about barbecuing, or swimming, or having too many beers with your friends. This was part of why they put theirselves in harms way.
But…. Remember that when the weekend is over they would expect that you would share some old clothes with someone less fortunate. They would expect that you would help out the neighbor who can’t cut their grass. They would expect you support or travel somewhere far away to help out folks in need. They would expect you share a kind word with someone, on line or face to face with a hug.
Trust me when I tell you they knew about the disconnect with the government. They lived and died with it. They worked within it with hopes to change it. They could spot an idiot a mile away. They also understood we aren’t our government, hence; “We the people in order to form a more perfect union….. Remember all the way back to that revolutionary soldier who passed on for you to grill with a machine he could never imagine.
Remember Freedom and goodwill are alive today for your to carry forward. It’s a legacy left to us. I’m encouraged that every second of every day their sacrifices are living and breathing in our efforts to be a better neighbor around the world.