Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fire in the Sky

I am a Canadian. I love my country. And as many Canadians, I'm sure, I grew up with a fair amount of disdain for American and Americans. It came as a shock to most of my friends and family, then, when I announced that I was marrying (gasp!) an American and that once I'd finished my degree I'd be moving to (gasp again!) the United States.

However, after living here now for 15 years, I'm singing a different tune. I love this country. I have great respect for this country. I pray, daily, for this country.

Last night, my family and I, along with thousands, made a pilgrimage to our favorite 4th of July Park to gather, visit, and watch the fireworks.

As I lay under the stars, with fire exploding in the sky above me, one of my sons held tight to my body, tears filled my eyes as they often do when I witness that sight. As usual, the words to this country's national anthem, written by Francis Scott Key, spring to my mind:

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Yes, our flag is still there, but I fear today it is more tattered and torn then it once was, even when it hung on battlements during war. Yes, it still waves, but I fear for only a relative few.

As I lay there, last night, beside and among the drunk girl, the tattooed guy, the old couple, the young couple (who I noticed didn't seem to be watching the sky at all) and all the families with children, another thought came to me. That event, watching fireworks on the 4th of July, is a great equalizer.

Together we can be one, of one mind, of one hope ... that despite "
... the havoc of war and the battle's confusion" we can, and must, learn to stand together.

Despite my liberal Canadian upbringing, I feel to fight for this amazing country in which I am now blessed to live. And I hope, as this morning dawns bright and fair, that other's hearts, too, are turned to freedom and a cause that is just.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!