These days we hear so much about all the things that are separating our nation. We hear so little about the things that really bring us together. I just really felt today that we needed a bringing together moment. We need to know we can still trust each other and love each other. In our country, we stand for much more than what the world may think it sees. No matter our paths in life, we are so blessed to have the freedom. We just need to remember our uniting is the real way to maintain that freedom. We are the land of the free!
I could see them gathered from a distance.
The group was all focused on something special.
Some held each other shoulder to shoulder,
While others clasp hands.
All intently gathered for a purpose.
One gentleman held his hand over his heart.
He wore the cap of a World War II Veteran.
A youngster next to him followed in suit holding his heart tightly.
I saw a young couple.
Both very “gingerfied”, standing hand in hand, bearing warm smiles.
Another woman adorning a hijab on her head as a covering, stood with her children.
They all laid their hands on each other’s shoulders, honoring what they saw.
Supporting each other with comfort.
The next character I saw wore a cowboy hat, a big belt buckle, and strapping leather boots.
The cowboy hat came off and was gently placed across his chest as he gave his attention.
As I got closer, there was a family appearing to be of oriental decent.
A dad, a mom, daughter, and son.
All with their heads bowed in honor.
An older Caucasian couple, both with silver hair, stood with their hands clasped to each other.
Their eyes searching and reaching into the sky giving homage to the object.
The next thing I saw was a wheelchair.
The wheelchair held a Vietnam vet.
Sporting an army t-shirt, jeans, and missing one leg.
His hand holding tightly to his chest and swaying as if music was all around the group.
His eyes closed as if praying his last homage.
Next to him stood a young African American woman.
She was suited from head to toe in all the gala of a Navy service person.
Her chest displayed beautiful medals of all types.
Her mom and dad stood with her.
Her salute gave respect to the special item.
I then saw a young man, brief case by his side.
Laying his hand across his chest upon his pocket scarf.
A red headed, blue eyed young lady stood beside him.
She laid her hand on his shoulder.
Her other hand reached toward the clouds and gave thanks.
There was a gentleman among the group next to the beauty.
His clothes were tarnished and he carried several sacks.
He looked like he was carrying all he owned in his bags.
A rusty flag pin was inserted into the lapel of his jacket.
He dropped his bags to the ground as his glove-covered hand slide across his heart.
By now I was intrigued and my interest was heightened.
What could draw so many different people so close?
What could cause such a variety of characters to unite?
How could something reach across religions, economic status, and cultures so easily?
Why would people just stop their busy days?
I squeezed my way past those with clasp hands and shoulders tight.
Just to get a glimpse of what could draw such a crowd.
I peeked over a young child and there it was!
One small American flag had caught itself in a drainage grate.
By some great miracle, it was standing upright with great dignity!
All of these people had stopped to unite for these few moments around the symbol of their country.
They no longer saw differences.
They only saw freedom and community!
A strong reason pulled them together.
Love drew them to each other.
A small gust of wind whished around the group.
The gust flung the small American flag into the sky.
It lifted higher and higher as if it was floating into eternity.
Everyone gave glances to each other.
Each said goodbye, gave gentle hugs, and went on their ways.
Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman
As you and your families celebrate this week in your homes or your communities, remember the sole reason we are Americans. We honor others, we respect differences, and love is the underlying theme of our lives. May God bless you and yours in this free country!