Tag Archives: United States

Proud to be an American

Sing the Anthem! Sing it to yourself. Sing it together. Sing it to your kids.

Our National Anthem is on my mind. It often is. I can always count on Chicago to take The Star Spangled Banner to another level, and they did it for Boston again last night. They get it. They always get it, just watch.

Desert Storm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvpxVE_kQXg

9/11 Tribute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLvJrTwkNlk

Last night, for Boston http://video.blackhawks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=239390&catid=-6

God Bless the United States of America

Beautiful Innocence III

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I can’t help myself, and I really don’t want to, if it means that I should stop thinking about the kids, the parents, the school faculty, the first responders, the families, and the community surrounding the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Newtown. Hmmm, maybe we all need a new town, as in a new outlook on our world around us.

We live in our little cocoons, sheltered from the things we don’t allow in. Conveniences abound and waiting is only a choice, not a requirement. We communicate as needed, if that much, and life leads us along.

New town. New outlook.

Love. Live. Stand. Share.

Welcome. Embrace. Listen. Learn.

Pray. Bow. Receive. Visit.

Read. Memorize. Recite. Lead.

Help. Give. Teach. Understand. Ask.

Repeat day after day, week after week, and so on. Then let’s see where we are. Where did we lose our way? Don’t bother trying to find out when, where, or even who is to blame, but rather, make the change yourself. Live the In God We Trust, Greatest Nation in the World, Indivisible Under God world that we all clamor for when tragedy strikes. Be the world we all want.

So, I posted this picture of my twins, Theodore and Jacqueline, because I see beautiful innocence. And to me, another’s innocence isn’t ours to take, alter, or render negligible. We have enough of an effect on others without even trying to, so I think, I, we, should change the way we think and move forward. We want a beautiful world yet we don’t always do something about it. We have the power to do so, just as generations before us did.

Beautiful: handsome – lovely – pretty – fine – fair – nice

Innocence: purity – naivety – simplicity – guiltlessness

Beautiful innocence. I can’t get too far past these words for the last few days. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Innocence, like a creature on the endangered list, once it’s gone it’s gone. We come together to protect animals, our atmosphere, historical places, and environmental necessities. Rightfully so. I mean, God created animals, the earth, and human beings. To me that means we are no more deserving of this place than the creatures, and this place itself. Yet, we come together to demand things, picket those opposed, start movements, start companies, and raise funds for these things. So I ask the following question.

Who is taking a stand to protect the innocence? We protect all kinds of things. The highway clover leaf encircles a protected wetland. Good. But who is teaching the parents, or holding us accountable to be less careless in protecting our future’s innocence? I am guilty too. We smoke. We curse. We drink. We gossip. We share things inappropriately. We give access where access has not been earned, nor prepared for. We exclude God. We move fast because we can, leaving the why’s and the how’s for someone else completely unqualified to teach our kids. We wonder why the world has gone to hell in a hand basket, but we don’t instill God’s truths and His Book in nearly anything we do. And when it all goes wrong we question God in every way we deem convenient.

We are equal. We are not above one another. We can work together. We can pray together. We can worship together. We can teach, live, and lead by example together. God shared the following from the Book of Matthew: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 KJV)

We have the know how. We have the instructions. We even have historical lessons, maybe even within our own families. We have the reasons, or the incentive. We have free will. But will we protect the innocence by improving the people and  places where innocence is found?

http://1inawesomewonder.com/2012/12/15/beautiful-innocence/

http://1inawesomewonder.com/2012/12/16/beautiful-innocence-ii/

Beautiful Innocence II

I just watched President Obama deliver a speech from Newtown, CT. I cried as he talked of our children and of parenthood. Then I cried a little bit more as he read the list of names. I imagined how it must feel to hear your child’s name listed on that list. A name that Mom and Dad may have argued over, certainly they discussed the name many times. Maybe they didn’t know if they were having a boy or a girl, thus having names for both. Then the baby is born and the name is given. Not long after, the name is repeated over and over, while taking in this new bundle of joy. Silently, and maybe even together, the parents repeat the name while looking over this precious miracle and confirm that she looks like the name she was given. And then, much later, that name is listed by the President of the United States in a prayer service honoring those who lost their lives. I can’t imagine.

She’s just a little six-year-old girl. She smiles more often than she doesn’t. She searches to make eye contact just because she has already figured out that her smile always brings a return smile. It’s a beautiful innocence. She wears skirts when her Mom will allow it because she likes to see the frills in a circle as she spins just for fun. She kisses her parents when she goes to school each morning, leaving a wet residue similar to that of a wet snowflake, but is welcomed every time. She learns quickly and remembers most everything, all with a smile as bright as a star. She is a friend to everyone because she’s been loved for every moment of her life and, in turn, she welcomes everyone. This little girl is a joy, a sweet, innocent girl, with hope in her eyes, and a look as wide as an ocean.

Then on a Friday, just 11 days before her favorite day, Christmas Day, she has her life taken from her in an instant. An eruption of pure evil has taken her life and several others. Worse even, is that so many of her classmates who survived the mayhem have seen their own innocence stripped forever by a stranger filled with uncertainty, selfishness, and evil. This school, this community, this part of the world, ripped apart and thrown into despair by a singular act of selfish cowardice.

Words are hard to come by, for everyone. The President of the United States of America comes to town and offers heartfelt words and genuine feelings shared by all parents. Then, the list. The names. Those names; each associated with a beautiful face that a mother and father loved. A face that Mom and Dad would give anything for a chance to kiss again. A name that will never be forgotten. Never. Sobs are heard. Tears stream. The lights go down and the service ends. Mom and Dad, maybe siblings as well, return home and the little girl is no longer there. That beautiful innocence is now missing, where it once showed itself in the moments that were least expected.

I pray some more. As we all should. For strength, for guidance, and for resolve to be the best we can be. I pray that this is a spark, a badly needed starting point, for America to become a God-fearing nation once again. I pray for the families in Connecticut. I thank the heroes that saved additional lives by being brave, brave beyond anything that most of us could even comprehend. I pray for a future where beautiful innocence thrives again, and lives to see the promise that comes with young life. God Bless America. And America, don’t lose sight of God, as He should once again become a part of our daily lives.

Thanks #22 (History)

I am thankful for our history, U.S. History. I enjoy reading about it, and learning more about our history. Much more than we were ever taught in school. More importantly, I am thankful for the repeated examples of individuals who showed tremendous character, determination, and integrity throughout our history. Even with today’s speed of life, scenarios involving technological advances, political encounters, and religious discussions, there are points and people in our history that we should, could, and would be better off for having learned from. Even the details of the very first Thanksgiving festival show just how frail the line between thanksgiving and perishing on a foreign shore really was. It’s impossible to imagine how different history would have been were it not for the Native Americans offering their knowledge, and then some, to the English traveller’s. I’m thankful for the holiday which tends to bring families together allowing for focus on actual thankfulness.

Thanks #9 (USA)

I’m thankful I was born in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America. I could have been born anywhere, but it was here in the U.S. where I was born. The land of opportunity. The country that people from around the world have flocked to. There are freedoms here, freedoms that have been fought for, freedom isn’t cheap, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted either. I know we are not the great country we once were. I do hold hope that we will correct our ways and return to being a great, God-fearing, sovereign nation, indivisible, under God.

Thanks #7 (New Day)

I’m thankful for each and every new day. The promise and hope held in each new day should not be under estimated. This morning, I pray that our elected officials all across this great land will embrace each and every new day and represent the people of this great country to the best of their abilities, in constant pursuit of what is fair, just, and right. What is it that we can get done before the next new day? I give thanks for today, a new day.

Never Forget

I am re-blogging this piece in remembrance of 9/11/01. I have added only this paragraph and have deleted nothing. Just the same sentiments in remembrance. The crisp, clear, clean, cool morning this morning reminds me very much of that fateful morning 11 years ago. 11 years ago today, heroes weren’t born, but rather emerged, as heroism was in so many who, through events beyond their control, were present and heroic when their fellow Americans needed them most. Never Forget.

This page is a place to more permanently keep this close at hand. On 9/11/11 I watched, I listened to, and read pieces on the 10 year remembrance of 9/11. I cried, I thought, I remembered, I swelled with pride, I felt a lot of emotions that day. That evening into the wee hours of the following morning I also wrote a piece in my style, my words, and I want it to be here, close at hand. There will be times when I will add to this page I am sure but this is where it starts for me. Never forget.

9/11 – Ten Years Later – God Bless the USA

Today, and every day really, I thank God that I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the greatest country in the world. I am proud to be an American every day. Please God, continue to bless the USA, and may we honor and glorify you in all we do. There is goodness in all of us. We were created and born, morally aware. And, just as those who ran towards the unknown terror of 9/11 as to free those who needed help, so did our founding fathers brave the unknown in hopes of freedom for all. It’s the USA, “One Nation, under God”, made up of millions of people with tremendous resiliency, and free will to choose that we will not give up, while harboring a true responsibility to help one another (all of whom are created equal) in times of need. I feel, and I pray for those who lost loved ones or saw so much more than anyone should see 10 years ago today. May we never forget those who were innocently taken and those who have sacrificed so much.

I am in no way trying to be political here and I don’t always know where my thoughts may take me, so let’s find out. I pray that we, the USA (that’s each one of us), don’t lose sight of the spirit that was embraced in founding our great country. I hope that we don’t forget to fight for the freedoms that we have defended around the globe. We should be continually thankful for those who have literally battled on our behalf and knowingly risked the greatest asset; a human life, for their country, our country, the USA. We should be cognizant of our own behaviors that help pave the way for true freedom in the future and be wary of those self indulgences that provoke others to restrict our freedoms with red tape and political correctness. This country was founded on right and wrong, and there is nothing political about that which is right. Right is right. Right is morally justified, while politically correct is often times a choice to act in a manner that gets a desired outcome. If the desired outcome is not right than why be politically correct?

It was December of 1967 when my dad and mom drove over the border from Canada back into the USA just so I could be born in the USA. That may not mean as much now as it did then, but I am awfully proud to have been born in the United States of America. I love Canada dearly and cherish my Canadian family who are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Still, I thank you dad and mom for making that run to Caribou, Maine, USA, right before Christmas, on my behalf.

My favorite combination of colors is truly the red, white, and blue. My favorite song is “The Star Spangled Banner”. Our National Anthem being sung at various events and venues is the television I record most often. I get goose bumps every single time I hear it. I think of the words and the inspiration behind them in a time of uncertainty. Those words will be 197 years old this week, and I think of how many times those words have meant so much too so many people. Climatically our anthem gets to “Our flag was still there” and I think of our resiliency, I think of our free will and am reminded to be so careful with this precious gift. I truly do think of us as the land of the free and the home of the brave. This week I again connect this to 9/11 as there has been, and hopefully always will be an American flag flying at Ground Zero. I will also never forget those who were technically free to run, as thousands did, but instead, instinctively were brave as so many before them have been.

I offer a closing prayer for those who care to read it. With my head bowed, I thank you God for this great country of ours, and for the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have given their all to maintain our freedom and our independence. I pray that we don’t forget the sacrifices and struggles past and present, allowing our quality of life to be what it can be today. We have so very much to be thankful for. In a time when we seem to measure our life’s success by things we have accumulated, money we earn, or status we have attained; may we truly cherish the choices we have, the freedoms we share, and the right to put God and our families first. I pray that each of us make the time and the commitment to love and fellowship with friends and family. At the end of our days, it’s our family who will be there with us. The recollection of the choices we were able to make will ease our hearts and minds when our days here are short. It will be the freedoms we embraced, the risks we were willing and able to take, and the free will to forgive and make that which is wrong, right that will allow a smile on our lips as we breathe for the last time. Lord, I pray we wait not, for those days to think on these things, but to actively pursue them with all that we are, and all we can be. We know not what the future holds for any of us. Let us not be caught up in that uncertainty, but have faith in You, and the tremendous power we possess to be present now. May we serve you Lord each day, knowing that the time we invest in one another is truly what makes the world go round. Lord I thank you for your many blessings as there are too many to count. Our days are full of blessings that we often times don’t even take the time to notice or thank you for. Forgive us for our sins and may we learn from our mistakes, in doing so, setting an example for others to follow so that we all may be better off for it. Lord, I ask these things in your name. Amen.