Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Patriotism

Twelve years ago, the enemy hijacked 4 planes.  Two hit the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon, another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania enroute to the White House.  Police and Firemen rushed to the scene of these attacks, trying to put out the flames and rescue those that could be rescued.

These men and women didn’t stop in their tracks because they worried for their safety.  Instead, they set up a command center inside the burning towers, while Firemen climbed the stairs knowing they may not come out alive.  Did they do it because they had to? No. They did so because they knew what they were doing was the right thing to do.  Many perished that day, despite their best efforts.

Several men inside the plane heading toward the White House, figured out what was going on.  They devised a plan, and the implemented it, rushing the cockpit of that fated aircraft to try to change the course of their destiny.    Why did they do it?  Because it was the right thing to do. The plane crashed in the field in PA and it never reached the White House. 

***

Twelve Years later, a Navy Seal near Benghazi heard cries for help over his radio.  The enemy, who ever they were at the time, were attacking a nearby consulate.  The cries for help came from within a nearby compound, two men, citizens of his country, were taking on heavy fire.  The were out numbered.  They needed someone to help them.  It seemed for whatever reason, no one was responding to their pleas.

This Seal wasn’t given orders to go protect those taking on fire, but he heard those cries for help.  He decided he needed to do the right thing, and without permission he went and tried to help fight off the enemy, who were attacking those inside without reprieve.  Another man joined him and together they tried for numerous hours to defeat this enemy.  They called for back up, three times.  Three times they were denied.  It came down to numbers.  The enemy had out numbered them.  And four people wound up dead.

***

A woman sits at her computer, reflecting on the awesome heroes in each of these events and how they set out to do the right thing, only to have it cost them their lives. The common thread that drove them to do the right thing:  Patriotism

But then her thoughts turn to the headlines of the day and she shakes her head.  Maybe she wouldn’t care at all…but she is a mom with children and she’s trying to leave this world a better place for them.  She’s trying to leave her country a better place for them.  She’s trying to do the right thing for them.

She wonders if it is even possible anymore? Is it possible to leave it better for the next generation than it has been for her own generation?  With so much division and not enough unity—she wonders.  She wonders if her children will ever have that sense of cooperation, duty, and love of country that she felt deep within before she could even understand her God?  She wonders if they will ever feel that surge of pride that wells up when heroes emerge because they’ve done chosen to do the right thing: sacrificing for the sake of their countrymen?  She wonders if her efforts to raise them to do the right thing, in what she believes is the greatest nation on earth, will plant the seeds of patriotism in their hearts and souls, much like they were planted in hers?

But wondering won’t get her anywhere, action will.  So she plans to teach, to speak, and to act. Idleness doesn’t work for her or her children anymore. 

She recalls these words so clearly, from a man she admired, not for his politics, no she was too young for that—but for the words of wisdom he imparted:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” –Ronald Reagan

She has decided that her love of country will be passed on—and she will find a way to make it better for children.  It is her last best hope.

She will do the right thing. 

Just watch her!

jenn sig copy copy

This was written for GBE2 weekly topic #76: Patriotism

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