Veteran’s day, whitney houston, and Heroes in your Midst


You have started to learn some poetry and songs connected to our nation’s patriotic heritage. You were fairly beguiled by the song, “Grand Ol’ Flag,” which was one of my least favorite (no offense intended), thus I needed to introduce you to the plethora of words and wisdom that make the Americana catalogue.

Three reasons for your deeper interest in Veteran’s day this year: talking about it at school, understanding more about Daniel’s veteran status, and brief conversations about the Bassetts last year (and more this year). You are starting to understand the sacrifice it takes to secure peace…or the appearance of peace…for our nation and our citizens.

Thus, we are listening to the Greatest National Anthem of All (a.k.a. Whitney’s version) on repeat this weekend. You’ve just had me sing the Star Spangled Banner, as you started your basketball practice outside (sorry neighbors, can’t turn off the opera when I have a beautiful line).

I’ll tell you, you got my heart remembering how much is good about the US. Just because we sometimes focus on that which divides, WE are not divided. Whether it’s a Hot Wheels Monster Truck Rally, a Dallas Stars game, or our backyard – we are united by this beautiful, grand ol’ flag, aren’t we? Those of us that believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people, we are blanketed together, in reds, blues, and whites. Neither “side” owns the flag – we all do. Just as Lady Liberty welcomes all to our shores, the flag serves to inspire us all to create a more perfect union.

When people like Granddaddy or Pop or Daniel or the Bassetts sign up to serve our country and to protect our democratic republic, we are further united. There is much to fear, there is much to regret, there is much work to be done; but, the bright stars and broad stripes represent that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us. That which was hard won in perilous fights by our ancestors at home and abroad should remind us that democracy is fragile, but resolve is strong.

Just as I felt last year, when you drew your picture for B&K, I felt grateful to my child for reminding me that better angels will always prevail.

God bless the United States of America.

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