talking blues

Thoughts free from melody

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thoughts on national pride

I don't know when I lost it. Sad to say, but I don't remember. Maybe it slipped away gradually, eroded by the hard truths finally showing up on the evening news. All I know is I woke up this morning and realized it was gone.

I used to feel a fierce pride when I saw the flag, a band around the heart that assured me that I lived in the best place in the world, that I was luky my ancestors had chosen the right place to forge our destiny. That, no matter what, the intentions of my country were for the best. I believed in the ideallized version of the American dream.

Slowly it's eroded away, my faith bought low by politicians whoring themselves out to whoever has the most money this week and soldiers being sent to die in a war based on lies. Open any random newspaper and there's news of yet anther scandal. It didn't used to be this way. I didn't wait for the daily news to finish rattling off its doomsday scenerios with a heavy heart and a weary mind.

You see, I used to be a soldier. I raised my right hand and gave my country five and a half years of my life. this is a tradition in my family. My grandfather felt we were lucky to be here and needed to earn the right to call ourselves Americans. So in every generation there are those of us who volunteer. My uncles wore the green beret; one of my cousins trains new soldiers. the father of my children served in the first Iraq war. We are soaked in the knowledge from birth that america is a privilage to be earned. That flag used to give me chills every time I saw it waving in the wind. I would do anything to feel that way again.