I know I’m feeling a tad bit irritated by the performance of The National Anthem tonight at the Super Bowl, and I know that I should just let it go. After all, I’m only one person and my opinion probably doesn’t mean much. But when I see (and hear) such an atrocious version sung at a huge event that is broadcast nationally (and to our military globally), I have to express my ire.
I know that singers want to show off their vocal acrobatic skill (or maybe it’s a lack of ability to hold a note?), but why do people feel the need to do this to The National Anthem? Aren’t there certain songs that should just be sung as they were written? Aren’t there any people who hold that song as something above the average song? It is a representation of our country’s history. And it is a solemn reflection of our honor for those who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free, an homage to the victories that made us a nation. It should be much more respectful and not treated like the next single sung on the radio or MTV. We need to take back our traditions, our honoring of our past and the heroes who gave their lives for our freedoms.
Let’s go back to the beautiful version of The National Anthem that was written for us so many years ago. And, more than that, let’s hold our hands over our hearts, showing the rest of the world that we still appreciate and love our country. And, lastly, get the lyrics right!
“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.” ~ Confucius
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I was reading an article in one of my favorite magazines…Taste of Home. Yep, I love to cook and subscribe to several magazines that have recipes in them. But Taste of Home beats them all…a magazine dedicated to cooking! Love it!
This particular article, though, struck another love. I love our soldiers who give up so much to do their duty. And they appreciate any little thing. What makes me sad is that some of our soldiers don’t get much mail…or any mail. Well, this article in Taste of Home was such an inspiration, that I wanted to spread the word. There is a woman who blogs about baking (Susan’s blog) and she asked some of her followers to send goodie packages to her cousin who had deployed to Iraq. She was amazed to find out he didn’t get the 4-5 packages she thought would arrive. He received SIXTY boxes! On that day, Operation Baking GALS (Give a Little Support) was born. She created a new website called bakinggals.com and people can search through the list of soldiers who are waiting for baked goodies.
Please spread the word. Our soldiers still need our support. We cannot forget them, because time has passed since the beginning of this war. Please think of our soldiers and find ways to thank them. If you can’t bake, find someone who can and help them by donating the packaging and time going to the post office.
And thanks to Susan for starting such a wonderful thing.
“Look up, and not down; Out and not in; Forward and not back; And lend a hand.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
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We always hear of football widows, basketball widows, and such, but we laugh…this is such a temporary state of affairs. After all, we know husbands can be sucked into the black hole of sports, not to be heard or seen again until the game is over…or even the season. But we diminish the word “widow” when we talk of being a sports widow. I mean, after all, he’s still there to sleep with that night, to talk with over breakfast, to bring in a paycheck, to kiss good-bye as he heads to work. But what about all of our war widows (or widowers, for that matter)? They won’t have a spouse coming back to the conscious world after the game is over. They don’t get to talk over breakfast anymore. No more quick phone calls during the day to touch base. They’ve given up all they treasured, for our country.
Today, I was reading an article about one war widow, Hotaru Ferschke. She and her baby boy are living that nightmare of knowing her husband and his father isn’t coming home. And with all of that grief and the normal struggles of being a new mom, Hotaru has another struggle…trying to stay in the U.S. She and her husband had a proxy marriage while she was in Japan and he was in Iraq. And though the Marines recognized it as a legitimate wartime marriage and are now paying her death benefits, the U.S. immigration department doesn’t recognize the marriage. It’s like that old saying, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” Well, I for one think the immigration department needs to wake up and smell the coffee. If the marriage is recognized by one branch of our government, it should be recognized by all branches. After all, his family is welcoming her into their home, so she has a place to live, she has income of some kind coming in and she’s the mother of a child whose father served and died for our country. And I’m sure she isn’t the only one fighting other battles while grieving. We need to support our war widows and widowers emotionally, legally, and morally. And, if possible, financially. They’ve already lost too much.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” ~ C.S. Lewis
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Yesterday, people were so caught up in their lives and things going on around them that I didn’t hear anyone reference 9/11. It was sad. Already, so many are forgetting. I wonder how long it will be before they also no longer place signs on the front of their businesses and no longer appreciate our soldiers. Then it makes me wonder what those people who survived Pearl Harbor felt when passing time put that day in history not quite in the forefront of people’s thoughts. And what about the people who survived catastrophic weather? Whole towns were obliterated. When did people forget to remember the lives lost?
As a population, we need to keep remembering. Because otherwise, we are doomed to repeat history. We need to remember our horror as we watched the towers collapse. We need to remember our fears as we saw the plumes of smoke rise from the Pentagon. We need to remember our tears as we heard the recorded messages to 9-1-1 on 9/11 from those in the twin towers or the Pentagon or on that plane crashing into a field to stop the terrorists’ plan. We need to remember the loss of life from the responders who gave it all to try to save those who had survived.
It should be a daily honoring of those who were lost. Their contributions to our future are gone. The potential leaders who could have been born to them, the potential healers, the potential teachers, the shear loss of all of that potential. It’s gone. We can’t get it back. And I cry for our loss. I grieve for those families…not just on 9/11, but through the year as I see reminders. When I see an injured soldier, when I see our flag fluttering in the breeze, when I hear the National Anthem.
“Of joys departed, not to return, how painful the remembrance” ~ Robert Blair
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