Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A True Patriot

Walker decided to ride with me in the car rather than with his dad and the dog in the truck on our weekend trip to Moon Lake. After a few minutes in the car, he asked if I had my i-Pod. When I said I didn’t, he reached back into his ever-present back pack and pulled out a CD featuring The Beach Boys greatest hits and popped it into the CD player. I turned the volume up and he and I sang along almost all the way to the lake. I realized that of all my children, Walker is the one who doesn’t roll his eyes when I belt out a song and miss some words or sing off-key, probably because he’s doing the same thing.

The weekend at the lake was tranquil, filled with blasting heat, skiing and tubing, homemade ice cream, Corky’s Barbeque and hamburgers and hotdogs.

When it was time to go home, Walker again chose to ride with me…which was a little unusual, because he is usually careful not to offend and chooses to ride with one parent to the lake and the other to come home. But I was leaving first, and he was anxious to get home to do his ritual Sunday night chores…taking the garbage to the street and doing his laundry…so off we went.

After a few minutes on the road Walker pulled out two pins to show me. “You know when I go to work on Wednesday, the 4th of July…I’m going to wear both pins.” He has one that has his picture and says “Born in the USA” and another with a flag that says “God Bless America”.

“Do they let you wear those pins at work?” I asked.

“It’s a free country, isn’t it?” he answered, seeming a little puzzled that anyone might disallow his patriotism.

“Well, I suppose, but your boss might not like it, and if he doesn’t, you’d have to obey him at work.

Walker shrugged and I gave it a rest, assuming his tribute to the country’s birthday wouldn’t be a problem.

A few minutes later, he pulled another CD out of the back pack, Lee Greenwood’s, “American Patriot”. As we rode along, I realized that Lee had been just as instrumental in building Walker’s fervent patriotism as any high school civics class. I listened to Walker recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and belt out all the patriotic songs along with Lee as we drove along through the Land of Cotton, and I was so glad he had shared this moving tribute to our country with me. Hearing “This Land is Your Land”, “God Bless America”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “America the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner” made the time and miles melt away in the blistering heat, and I came home refreshed and revived.

God Bless America, and God bless Walker, a true patriot.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We, of the class of Lanier '62, are so fortunate to have you among us. Thank you for such a positive outlook on this Memorial Day!