Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Do you get it?

It was your typical Sunday afternoon baseball game. The players stood in their positions, the crowd sat in their seats. We were sitting in the cheap seats. You know the ones where you need binoculars to see who's on first. My friends and I were just there to watch the game. Nothing special, just your average old baseball game. And as the stranger began to sing we all knew the drill.

I thought to myself then that to too many, that's what the singing of our National Anthem has become-a drill or a routine. You get a hot dog, you stand through the song, you watch the game and you go home. Many people don't get all the fuss about that tri-colored piece of cloth or that oh-so-well known song.
But as I stood there with my hand over my heart, listening to the stranger's beautiful voice echo through the stadium, watching Old Glory wave in the summer breeze, tears welled up in my eyes and I got it.
This is truly what America is all about. We were all standing in unison because we all knew deep down what that flag and that song meant. Sure, some don't really care anymore, but they still KNOW. They can't deny it no matter how hard they may try.

We CAN go with our families to this great American past-time and watch two teams play their hearts out for the love of the game. And even though only one team wins, everybody virtually goes home happy.
We have that ability, that privilege to do so. We have that freedom.

Somebody fought and possibly died for that freedom. Somebody left their family and fought on enemy soil so you and I could go sit in a stadium and watch other people play a game, while eating a $7 hot dog and drinking a $4 coke.

This next fourth of July my baby nephews and two other men in their family will be fighting somewhere overseas for that flag, and even though some have chosen to forget, the values and freedoms it still represents.
Those boys get it. They know what that flag means. They understand what a special gift it is to go to a game with their wives and kids. They know what they fireworks truly represent.

I talk about my nephews, their cousin, their uncle and all those men and woman a lot, I know.
I realize I ramble on about it incessantly. To most people around me it probably gets really old. They are more than likely tired of hearing "Carrie's Political Rant of the Day".
But hey, when you believe in something and you are proud of someone, that's what you do. You stand up and you tell others about those people and those beliefs and you don't back down. You don't let other's influence you.
And when you go to a sporting event and it comes time for the Star Spangled banner you don't care how long you have to stand, you just do it, because you know it's the right thing to do. When everyone else around you is looking to see if they can find themselves on the big screen or whispering to their buddy next them, you are standing with your eyes on the old Red, White and Blue and you are singing along, word for word.
So you see, when my family or myself go to a game and the band starts up or the group begins to sing, it's not just a routine to us. It's one way that we can pay homage to the men and woman who have done so much for us without even knowing that we exist.
We jump to our feet, put our right hand's over our heart's and we look at that beautiful flag through misty eyes and we get it.
"Oh say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave, or the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
I get it.
Do you?