Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Reflections

What does patriotism mean to you? Don't we usually think of that on the 4th of July. Patriotism, fireworks, freedom, independence -- these are the thoughts & ideas we reflect on this special day. Webster defines patriotism as love for or devotion for one's country. I love my country, I love what it stands for, I love the hope it gives me and others. I appreciate my country more now that I'm living in Germany. My pride for my country has deepened since I've been serving the military. Our freedom does not come without a price and I hope we never forget that!

As a child, my parents hung the flag on every national holiday. This was a family tradition and it instilled in me a sense of honor for our country and its flag. Here in Germany, it's very different. In the two years we have lived here, the only time we have seen flags flown is during the Soccer World Cup. Right now, the Womens World Cup is going on in Germany. Now, I must confess we don't know much about soccer. We are a baseball & football family. [I know my brother Chris would be very sad -- since he played soccer.] But Germans love their soccer! They love their teams and when the soccer tournaments are going on -- their patriotism shines.

Here is a picture of one of our neighbors cars. Bob & Liz Motley live right across the street from us. Bob is a retired Army servicemen and Liz is a German national. As you can see, two flags -- American & German -- being flown to show their allegience to their country soccer team.

Yet, it has caused me to think why this is the only time that their flags are flown. Outside of this sporting event, there doesn't appear to be the same love of country among the Germans. So, today as we celebrate our independence. Reflect on what our freedom means to you, reflect on what our freedom has cost others and be proud to be an American!

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