Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’
Happy Flag Day! As you may or may not know June 14th is the celebration of Flag Day, as formally adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The establishment of an official flag for the United States was a powerful symbol for the nation. Sadly, this holiday is not officially recognized by the federal government, therefore people do not have a day off of work to fire up their grill under said flag, and if you were to conduct a random survey, most people probably wouldn’t know what Flag Day signifies.
As a nation we often forget the sacrifices that have been made in the name of Old Glory. Not only for Americans, but also for those around the world who catch a glimpse of the stars and stripes, the American flag represents freedom from tyranny and the rights granted to every citizen under our Constitution. In these turbulent times, I look at the flag waving atop the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda and remember that freedom isn’t free.
Whatever you want to call the current issues and events facing the United States – be it scandals, lies, cover-ups, dilemmas – in the end truth and justice will prevail, as it has throughout this nation’s history. The flag represents everything that is so good about America’s democracy. It serves as a symbol to let the world know that, though divisions may exist in our country, all is well. Politicians have come and gone, flags have been defaced across the world, but history has shown that we as a nation have endured trouble, only to rise like a phoenix – better and stronger. Long may that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
I don’t remember the first time I ever heard Taps bugled, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard without having tears in my eyes. Usually, I think of my granddad and the very few times he spoke of his service in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during WWII. On a couple of occasions, I recall him being asleep on the couch in his living room and waking up from a violent nightmare, near-screaming. He wouldn’t talk about those episodes, but I learned from my grandma that his nightmares came from an occasion that his PT boat had sunk a Japanese boat and he refused to make the gunner kill the survivors floating in the water, instead taking that unimaginable responsibility upon himself. That was my first inkling that war is hell.
We owe so much to the brave men and women who have traveled through hell for us, whether it be the forest and fields of Pennsylvania in the Revolutionary War, the battlefields of Virginia during the Civil War, the Black Forest of Germany during WWI, the south Pacific or the European Theatre during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. The march through hell, to protect our freedom deserves much more than just the last Monday of May as a memorial.
My aunt’s husband, a true patriot, emailed me the video below. As you listen to this beautiful variation of Taps, (it is known as Il Silenzio) played by a 13 year-old girl, think about the words (there are actually a couple versions – both below).
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.
Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.
Thanks and praise, For our days,
‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh — Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear — Friend, good night.
God Bless the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much, in too many cases, the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may live free.