Salute the Flag
So as most of you probably know, last week was the 4th of July. Independence Day. America’s birthday. The day when dogs lose their minds. The day it sounds like an overhead air-rade. El dia de muchos fireworks. The day that will inevitably end up in a migraine headache from all the fucking explosions. You may call it whatever you like. It’s that one day a year when America silences their complaints and raises those good old stars and stripes in a nationwide salute that can be heard from all over the world.
As per usual, my family and I went out to a crowded, remote location and lay in the same mosquito-ridden grass as every other seemingly cookie cutter family that surrounded us. So we laid there waiting for hours for the sky to become a dark enough palate for the bright colors to properly illuminate the sky.
Finally the moment came. I watched the colors flash before me with that same wild eyed wonder that I did when I was a kid. Everyone did. It’s like the simple tradition brings out the kid in everyone and allows us all to marvel at something with “oohs” and “ahhs” again without being judged. In a world where we are taught to whisper and refrain from any displays of emotion, for one night emotions ran free. Pointing, shouting, laughter, and tears filled the air with reckless abandon. For a few minutes, everyone was happy. Our hearts swelled up with the unforgettable feeling of loyalty towards our country.
The things we regularly complain about…. government, unemployment, taxes, gas prices, inflation, the housing market. All was forgotten. For a moment, we all stared with that child like wonder at the beauty before us. The beauty which represents our freedom as a country. The idea that anyone can do anything they want so long as it doesn’t hurt another.
Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Arab, British, Indian, German, African. The lines were blurred. We were Americans. We are Americans. And when it’s all said and done we are the luckiest people in the world to experience such a luxury as to be an American.
We’re all guilty of getting caught up in the everyday tirade of life (myself being no exception) and, therefore, tend to slip into a harsh and cynical view of the world (again, I’m guilty as well). But it would be beneficial for everyone if we lived everyday with the mind set that we are Americans and we are free. We should always look up and see the beautiful colors which represent so much painted across the sky. Because, although we can’t always see them, they’re there. They always have been, and they always will be.