Sunday, July 2, 2017
Today I am grateful for outdoor concerts. But I am going to need some serious rehydration, maybe intravenous, by the time this Fourth of July is over. I am a frustrated, sad, sobbing mess.
Each day I cherish my country. Yet each day the people and I mean that plural, who are running it disappoint me over and over again. I was not a great fan of the Bush family, but I would love having them back in office right now. At least they had some dignity. And maybe there were policies I didn’t agree with but at least I knew they cared about all people in the country. Some more than others, but still, I knew they cared. I don’t think anyone in Washington cares anymore. None of them in the current White House, that’s for sure.
But I can’t carry that around all the time because the burden is too great. So we went to the outdoor concert in Souderton tonight, featuring the Allentown Band. It was fantastic. And patriotic. And I bawled. Didn’t even make it through the entire National Anthem without sobbing too hard to sing. Geeze. So what set me off aside from the aforementioned obvious?
A friend from water aerobics came with her gentleman friend who uses a walker and is very wobbly. He sat next to me, with the walker between us. She went to get the ice cream while he held down the fort. We spoke a little, but his hearing was bad, in order to not frustrate both of us, I just crocheted.
Before she got back he was fidgeting with his walker and I asked if he needed help. He said he wanted to stand and I suggested he wait until she returned, so he did. Not long after, the color guard appeared and the band warmed up for the National Anthem. We all stood. So did he, but it took him so long to get up, the song was half over. So I bawled. Because it was that important to him.
I will defend to the death anyone’s right to protest and not stand for the National Anthem. I really will, because people have strong feelings about their issues and I always support peaceful protest. It has what has always distinguished us as a true democracy.
But I wonder if those who make that choice might change their minds if they would have seen this elderly man struggle desperately to stand, out of respect for his country. He removed his hat with a palsied right hand and placed it over his heart, clutching that walker for dear life with the other shaky hand.
Every day citizens like him, like people all over our country, who believe in a system that has been proven for centuries, are what keeps America great. That realization left me a mess! And makes me wonder if I need an IV because I know I’m down a quart already and it isn’t even the actual holiday. I have two days to go. I hope I make it!