Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Old Glory

One of my favorite sights to see first thing in the morning is something beautifully sacred. This sight also greets me each time I look out the window. I am referring to the enormous American flag that flies above one of the condos across the channel from my home. The condo is situated on a hill, but is not visible because of all the trees. However, the flag is the only thing one can see since the owners cleared the whole area around the pole. They also have a spotlight that shines upon it at night, which makes for a magnificent display. The illuminated flag stands out like a beacon of hope. Sometimes I just stare out the windows watching it wave in the summer wind or sparkle in a winter snowstorm because it is just so breathtaking.
As I look at this particular flag or any American flag, my mind instantly becomes filled with thoughts of citizens who have ever gazed upon the stars and stripes. I think of the soldiers who fought and are fighting to defend what it represents. I think of the newly sworn in citizen and what emotions he must be experiencing as he looks at the colors of the country he now calls home. I think of people who desecrate it and wonder why they believe this is a correct manifestation of their opinions. I think about the lawmakers and wonder how their decisions will impact my future children. I think about Betsy Ross and Francis Scott Key. I think about the soldier who is draped in it and wonder if he can feel those who have fallen before him in the threads. I think about when I arrived at JFK after my adventure to Russia and feeling such a surge of relief, comfort, and pride when my eyes saw it swaying in the wind. I think about battles and what the enemy thought as well as felt as he saw it approach him. I think about the work and the social rights progress that still needs to happen as well as the successes that have already occured. I think about how fortunate I am to be a female citizen of this nation along with how my daughters will one day look at the flag and feel pride in the colors that represent courage, purity, and loyalty.