Thank You for Your Service

I love the flag. The Stars & Stripes. Old Glory. In 1814, Francis Scott Key concluded a song by asking this question – set to notes only the best vocalists could reach, yet a nation would sing at ballgames before emitting a great cheer – “Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free & the home of the brave?”

Answer: Why yes. Yes! It most certainly does.

For two hundred years,  the tune – which always inspires chillbumps on my arms – has filled the air…the Star Spangled Banner. After 9/11, you couldn’t look down any street in America, it seemed, without seeing our flag flying.

Today’s Clarion-Ledger article by Mark Stowers concluded with his question, “Who do you know that has helped keep our Independence flowing and our freedom cemented? Add their names and service here or over at Facebook or you can tweet me @markhstowers….see yah next week!”

Who do I know? Posting their names would take quite a lot of space on a Facebook comment, so there’s certainly not enough characters to Tweet the ones I’m honored to know (though the list is packed with some of the most amazing characters any story would ever hope to contain!).

I’m patriotic. My Facebook network is full of veterans and those currently serving in the military who I’m proud to call “Friends.” So many sacrificed so much to serve our country, providing their families and mine the freedom to kick back and celebrate today in absolutely any way we choose. The flag reminds me – every single time – of the struggle to raise it, the battle to keep it flying, and the people who have given so much to benefit the all-too-often ungrateful.

It’s said that one voice represents 100. So I’ll speak for my family of 5 children to give 600 heartfelt thank you’s to the men and woman I happen to know, as well as all… think abut how enormous the word “all” is here: Thank you to all who have served with honor.

Fireworks of celebration will fill our skies tonight because of the few, the proud, the dedicated. When I say “Thank you for your service,” This is what I mean, my heart overflowing with gratitude.

Have a blessed, safe, and thankful Independence Day! And be sure to check out Mark’s article!

PHOTO CREDIT: ©2014 Debbie Nelson. All rights reserved.

“I enjoyed a peace-filled Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Mississippi last weekend, chatting with locals and reassuring visitors they can’t go wrong in their choice of restaurant – every eatery on the Square serves delicious food. The atmosphere was Norman Rockwell-ish, a slice of Americana. The sun was shining, birds chirping, flags occasionally rippling as the air moved slightly – not quite a breeze. Oxford was dressing up for the Independence Day celebration!”
~Debbie Nelson
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