This week in Utah is a state holiday that is a pretty big deal for us. July 24, Pioneer Day, is celebrated to commemorate when the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley. This morning there was a pancake breakfast at the church to commemorate it.
But first, the flag ceremony.
Before the breakfast there was a flag-raising ceremony by the Boy Scouts. Let me tell you, when you have Boy Scouts who have been taught to do the flag ceremony by someone in the military, you might not always get tons of polish, but you see plenty of reverence and respect for what they are doing. I watched the flag silently rise up the flag pole and thought of how much I appreciated all the sacrifices that have been made so that I can enjoy the freedom and privileges that I have here in America. Then as it lowered to half-staff I thought of all of those men and women who are currently working to make and keep my world a safe place, and I found myself fighting tears.
The emotion slammed into me unexpectedly. I’ve had a more intense appreciation of what our country’s constitution grants us since living outside the U.S., but I’ve tried to keep some of the emotions associated with that in check. Most people don’t want to hear or think about what life could be like without the rights we have, rights I see being eroded a little more every day.
Sorry for the short detour there. Anyway, I find that occasionally I still get slapped hard with amazement, gratitude, and awe at all that we have here in this country and the emotion overwhelms me, like it did this morning. “Please repeat the Pledge of Allegiance” is not usually all that hard for me, but today my voice got tight and I fought the tears that threatened to overwhelm me. Afterward, I looked back at Arctic Boy and saw that he was also fighting some emotion. I’m glad. I think it’s good to have strong feelings about what our flag stands for.
I didn’t eat the breakfast – didn’t fit too well with my diet – sugar, sugar, sugar – but seeing that flag raise really fed my spirit.
I saw this today and it brought some peace and hope to my heart:
winner-winner, veggie dinner 🙂