What is it about flying the flag outside my front door that makes pride surge within me?
My dad always flew the flag on Memorial Day, Flag Day, The Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day. His brothers served our country. Daddy, unfortunately, was unable to serve our country but he desperately wanted to. I watched Daddy fly the flag proudly declaring he was an American and loved his country.
Thinking back to when I was a kid, growing up in a small town, Thief River Falls, Minnesota, there was always the Fourth of July parade to get excited about. I’d scramble through adults to perch myself on the curb of the downtown street. It was the best chance of getting candy the parade entries tossed out.
At home, we hardly ever got candy, so I always tried my hardest to catch as much as I could on parade day. Unfortunately, there were always bigger and faster kids and I maybe left with one or two pieces, devouring them before we got home.
But why did my heart surge as the Honor Guard for the military passed by?
In high school I played the French horn with the marching band. We’d memorize the music so we could fancy dance. I loved hearing the cheers from the crowd as we passed by. My heart pounding with pride to be a part of the celebration.
I didn’t understand my feelings of pride until I got older.
I’m proud to be an American. I enjoy freedom because there are thousands of people who work and fight for that freedom every day. People who have devoted their lives, some whom have given the ultimate price, just so I can get a cup of coffee each morning and enjoy it on my back porch while listening to the birds singing in the trees.
As I hang the flag out, I know why I feel pride. I’m patriotic, like my Daddy. I want my neighbors to know I’m thankful and proud to be an American.