“My country ’tis of thee… Sweet Land of Li-b-erty….” I can recall the patriotic song being an anthem of sorts during my Kindergarten days. For some odd reason, I latched on to a (what I deem) very right-wing mentality… I can vividly recall playing with dishes vs. trucks; playing dolls vs. building blocks; molding clay vs. abusing the indoor jungle-gym. Somewhere mixed into all of that is my lingering patriotism.
“Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride ….. Le-t freedom ring.” Samuel Francis Smith penned the lyrics in 1831; the same lyrics I recall so fondly. I have a deeply rooted love for my country although I’m not very active in politics (local nor federal). It’s curious that I’m a rather blind patriot but so proud all in the same.
I voted “Democrat” in the Presidential Election 2008. That’s right, I’m broadcasting my vote. So taboo! In my very own opinion, I’m an ignorant voter (to an extent). I kept talking about how I wanted to research my candidates but never really got around to it. In my defense, I watched the 2nd Vice Presidential Debate on NBC. And got to be endlessly annoyed by Sarah Palin in my own living room. Ahem. I generally go with my instincts on Election Day and even I know that’s a stupid way to vote. It’s better than not voting at all!!
I chose Obama because what I learned about him was inspiring. (The media, of course, plays a HUGE role in poll turnouts, votes cast, etc…) With that being said, I certainly relied on the media to paint a fairly objective picture of the candidates. And even Helen Keller wouldn’t have voted for Palin/McCain (in that order, yes. ‘Cuz we ALL know she has John’s balls in her purse.) This, I know, is an ignorant way to vote. But I also feel in my gut that our fine 44th President will lead us to a path of progress. Yeah, yeah, I have HOPE. Seriously.
I feel very torn at times about my own feelings on American politics and government. Shameful fact: I don’t even know how many amendments are in the Constitution or what amendment governs what. It’s sad but true. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a clue about what I desire out of a government. That doesn’t mean I’m entirely ingorant to the ways of politics and voting and knowing my rights. I’m not passionate about Law therefore I don’t pay attention to many of the intricacies. My bad.
The real meat-and-potatoes of this is:
Thank GOD for those brave men and women that I am hoping Obama will bring home soon and safely. Not a day goes by that I don’t at least think about our soldiers and silently thank them for being brave when the fight loses meaning. Today I want to publicly thank them for following our ELECTED President’s orders and fighting in the name of honor and freedom; even if our big-wigs in suits don’t know what the hell they’re even waging war FOR anymore. (Really? Are we after Saddam or the Al-Qaida, or both/all? Is it even worth it anymore?)*
I, personally, want to thank my uncle: Jarrett “Jay” Klaas. As a Navy recruit in the late 1980’s, he subsequently fought in the noted battle “Desert Shield/Desert Storm” in the early ’90’s. My uncle was a good soldier, I’m sure. He loves people, he’s smart and he’s assertive. He knows when to speak and he knows when to listen. (Klaas’ are known to be hard workers). Not only did he serve our great country while in the Navy but he later rejoined the Armed Forces, choosing the Iowa National Guard. He toured Iraq for a second time, this time being “Army”. He is a brave, brave man and a true support beam in our family. How he came home unscathed twice (figuratively) I’ll never know. God and my Uncle Jay are quite chummy. This is yet another reason I love and respect him so. And thank him.
I want you all to take the time on this Veteran’s Day (11/11/09) to thank a soldier or extend gratitude to a soldier’s family (in the case you can’t thank a soldier directly). We owe a lot to our friends, family, neighbors who have made a personal commitment to fight for the Stars and Stripes; irregardless of what that means to each of us as individuals.
I feel that politics have gotten so skewed and over-publicized that our politicians have lost sight of what really matters to an “average” American. (OR SHOULD MATTER!) Things like honesty, integrity, bravery, family values, work ethic, etc. America needs to pull together and focus on being respectful citizens first and foremost and developing (or revitalizing) our sense of compassion in order to thrive. We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we’re all humans and we’re all basically stuck on this planet together so we may as well make it the best in sum. Right?
Happy Veteran’s Day!
*The question is hypothetical and for literary wording perks. I know we’re after some jerk in Iraq. Or a lot of them. Meh. I guess I am confused about this war. Who isn’t?