Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts on Independence Day 2009

Last night we were at Disney World's Magic Kingdom with our granddaughters. There were spectacular fireworks in honor of Independence Day, accompanied by narration and music. It was moving and beautiful, and patriotic. I couldn't help thinking of Leif, how much he loved fireworks, how passionate he was about his country and Constitution, how he served his country like so many others, and how this handsome and proud soldier, who looked so stalwart and had the best military bearing in the whole Infantry Basic graduating class, a man with such leadership potential, who wanted so badly to serve his country, had all that taken away from him by the very military he loved; his future, his health, his marriage, his confidence dimmed. And yet, he never stopped being passionate about his country, his brothers in arms, his oath to defend the Constitution.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, our country wasn't yet free, wasn't yet the United States of America, didn't yet have our Constitution, but it was the beginning of the long road and we are all the beneficiaries of what they started.

Happy Independence day, my son. Thank you for being the patriotic man you were, a man who served his country. I cried for you again last night.

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