As I sat this evening on the grass with my family (and 50,000 other people), I took a moment to truly reflect on what this country means to me and why I am so incredibly thankful to live here. These things are different to different people and that is one thing that makes this country so great.
I looked around and I saw so many DIFFERENT people - different colors, different sizes, different shapes, speaking different languages. And yet, when the lights dimmed and the band began to play the National Anthem, everyone rose. Hats came off. Hands went over hearts. Soldiers - in and out of uniform - stood at attention.
And everyone was the same. Everyone there, regardless of their differences, stood tall beneath the flag that draped the stage. Everyone.
My thoughts are so jumbled right now - so many things are runnning through my head. This past week has been another tough one - the crash of the Chinook in Afghanistan has brought about a roller-coaster of emotions. And word on the news tonight brings on another round of those emotions. Someone mentioned on another blog I read (lately I read it a lot) that we should not mourn for the soldiers on board that helicopter - that they were warriors and knew full well the fate that could befall them. It was not a tradgedy. It was war.
I don't know that I mourn for the soldiers. If I examine my heart and my feelings, I see that I mourn for those left behind. The wives. The children. The parents. The friends and family left to deal with the hole that will always be there. Always. I think back to our friend who died in the Chinook crash back in April and I mourn, again, for his wife and children, his parents and siblings, his friends.
I think it is natural to ponder, "What would I do in that situation?" A military spouse who says they don't think about that is most likely lying. And yet, you cannot know until you walk that mile in their shoes. And I pray that I never have to. I pray that our friends never have to.
But mostly, I pray for those that HAVE.
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