In Others’ Words: Defining Love of Country

Freedom Lives 2015

I know the exact moment I became a patriot.

My husband was in the U.S. Air Force and “Uncle Sam” sent us to Turkey for two years. At that time, “us” included my husband, me, our five-year-old son, two-year-old daughter, and three-month old daughter.

Yes, the move overseas was quite the experience — and that’s another blog post.

Our first 4th of July in Turkey was not a typical celebration. Yes, we barbecued with friends. But the Turkish fireworks were, well, duds. And when the Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) decided to use plastic explosives to create some big “BANGS!” they caught the grassy area on fire.

Yeah, that was fun.

But the moment the U.S. fighter jets took to the air — the sound of freedom, as Air Force families like to say — and a recording of “The Star Spangled Banner” played over the base intercom, I rose to my feet … and cried.

Standing there on foreign soil, far away from so much that was familiar, that was home … I was so, so proud to be an American. The passion of patriotism took root in my heart and has never left. Now, whenever I hear the “Star Spangled Banner,” I go back to that time, that place, and I remember when my husband was the military member serving overseas … and we were the military family … and I thank God for the military men and women — and their families — who are serving today.

In Your Words: What do the words “Love of Country” mean to you? What July 4th memories do you hold close to heart? Who do you know that is serving or has served in the U.S. military?

 

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a Nikon CoolPix Camera
a Lands’ End canvas bag
2 beach towels
a Contigo water bottle
a copy of Crazy Little Thing Called Love
a copy of Somebody Like You

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8 Comments

  1. susan
    July 2, 2015, 6:14 am   /  Reply

    Thank you, Beth. Thank you to your husband and to your family. Just…thank you:)

  2. July 2, 2015, 11:53 am   /  Reply

    I love the fact that if someone knocks on the door at dawn, it’ll just be a neighbor whose dog’s run off, and is he playing with ours?

    I love the Supreme Court, that will uphold the letter of the Constitution, even when a lot of people – me included – do not agree with what they’ve decided.

    And I love the Marines, soldiers, sailors airmen, and contractors whose blood watered foreign soil – soil that never became ours by conquest.

    And I thank you and Rob for your service, in uniform and bound by the heart of Family.

    • July 2, 2015, 5:58 pm   /  Reply

      Freedom: so many reasons to be thankful.
      And I thank you for your service, Andrew.

  3. Gail Hollingsworth
    July 2, 2015, 4:33 pm   /  Reply

    I get so irritated at those that show no respect when The Star Spangled Banner is played. I think of what it means and the thousands that have died to protect our freedom.

    My 91 year old father-in-law served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He piloted a U-Boat that delivered troops to Omaha Beach, one of the bloodiest battles of the war. He said it was depicted fairly accurately in the movie Saving Private Ryan.

    Thank your husband for his service and to you and your children that were part of it.

    • July 2, 2015, 6:02 pm   /  Reply

      My husband comes to attention when the Star Spangled Banner is played. He even pauses whatever he is doing if the song is played/sung on TV in our house. He has very firm ideas about how the flag should be worn, too.
      And I thank your father-in-law for his service.

  4. July 3, 2015, 5:07 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. To answer your questions: My favorite memory of the Fourth of July is of my father, a WWII vet, blowing TAPS in the silence of the parade-watching crowd as he stood on the bridge in our hometown just after the memorial wreath for war dead was cast into the waters of the Fox River. So touching! I am a patriot , too. Even when I’m home alone, and the Star Spangled Banner plays on TV, I stand and put my hand over my heart and sing. If I’m in a public crowd, I do the same even if no one else sings. I am so proud of this country that the Lord raised up, and so heart-broken as I watch it crumble. Yet the prophesy the Lord gave George Washington at Valley Forge gives me hope.

    • July 3, 2015, 7:45 am   /  Reply

      Beth Ann: What an absolutely beautiful memory — one to treasure always. I heard the notes of TAPS in my head even as I read your comment.

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