Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July (Reprint)

What the Flag Means
The Flag is many things.  It is a mark of identification of ships at sea and of armies in the field.   It is a means of communication.  When you see our Flag in front of a home, it says for all the world to read, "Here lives a family that is American in spirit as well as in name."  The Flag is a mirror, reflecting to each person his own ideals and dreams.  It is a history.  Its thirteen stripes and fifty stars embrace a record written greatly during these years since 1776.  It is a mark of price in a great word -- the word "American".  It is an aspiration of what small children want their lives to be.  It is a memory at the end of life of all that life has been.  It is a ribbon of honor for those who have served it well -- in peace and war.  It is a warning not to detour from the long road that has brought our country and its people to a degree of prosperity and happiness never even approached under any other banner.
                                                                                                             ~Edward F. Hutton~

The flag, in the photo above, covered the casket of my father five years ago next week.  He loved the Fourth of July, perhaps because he knew so well how much it meant to serve this country in time of war.  As we celebrate this holiday, let us not forget all the brave men and women who have served, are serving and will serve.

My father would often take my sister and me to the fireworks stands, which were much more plentiful in those days.  Then, it was to the country roads outside the city limits of our hometown.  However, one year, a roman candle misfired and burned my hand.  Mother banned family fireworks after that.

Years later, I rediscovered the joy of fireworks through the eyes of my young son.  We would spread our quilt on grassy knolls among those of other friends and neighbors, and wisely leave the detonation of the fireworks to the professionals.  Each sparkling explosion was proclaimed to be the best one yet, but proved never to be quite as spectacular as the one to come!

May we apply that same line of thinking to all of our days, and to the days of our country.  Our yesterdays were great, our today is even better, and may our tomorrows be spectacular!

Happy 4th of July!
Happy Birthday, United States of America!
~Originally posted July 4, 2007 at Jan's Jots


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