by Faith St. Clair
The mere mention of it frightens me. It frightens me because I’m scared to death that people will be able to tell how little I actually know about it, I’m scared of the immediate flare of emotion that postures whenever the subject arises, and I’m scared that there’s so little patriotism attached to the subject.
We took our girls to Washington, D.C. this summer and I must say that I felt like I was doing a pilgrimage to my roots - the land of our forefathers. I had been there before, but this visit touched me with awe and strengthened my testimony in that this is a great nation, a choice land, the promised land.
I traveled the streets where power and money and influence builds, destroys, aids, protects, and controls whole countries. What I marveled at, however, was the sacrifice, the humility, the vision and the inspiration that built this great nation and dressed it with an armor of truth and right.
In trying to explain the theories of politics to my 10-year-old daughter, it wasn’t policy I was most trying to teach, but passion – not a passion for power, but one of honor.
As we stood before the Lincoln Memorial and read his inaugural speech, as we realized in the Ford theatre the reasons he was assassinated, as we read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, as we honored the war heroes at various memorials and as we spent a reverent morning in the Arlington Cemetery watching the vigilant watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, we felt in our bones the power of patriotism.
We witnessed many inspiring memorials and many deserve mentioning, but I was most struck by the JFK memorial and cried as I read his inaugural speech – the part that burned from my insides out…
“…whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.”
I am grateful to those who had no fear, who stood for truth and right, who sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice), and who think like Lincoln when he said, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
God Bless America!