“We will not be playing the National Anthem again tonight, due to it being played for the game earlier today.” What??!! This was the announcement made over the megaphone in the Stadium at the District High School Soccer Championships in May. What followed was the single greatest patriotic moment I have ever felt as an American citizen.
As we look on to a field of boys standing respectfully and proudly together, they show our best side as a Country. Faces that are clearly a mix of cultures and heritages (something I am excited to see making it’s way more to the West Coast in recent years), here they are all together, united as two teams of fine, young men. They have worked hard all year to earn their chance to compete today. Representing scholastic achievement and sportsmanship, these boys are exactly the reason we should be taking off our hats and turning our hearts to the Flag; and so we did.
The crowd is clearly disappointed, and someone gives my Uncle Sam (a community theatre performer with a voice like silk) a nudge to say, “Sam, you should sing the National Anthem for us.” The irony that his name is “Uncle Sam” is not lost on me at this moment, when we start to hear those familiar words, “Oh, say can you see…”. He is leading the music, but he is not alone. Everyone rises to their feet, everyone sings, everyone feels the American Spirit.
This is exactly the type of patriotism that appeals to me. A boss of mine once passed on the advice that, “if your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” I feel the same way about patriotism. If you are a good American, let that speak for itself in how your actions represent the freedoms of your Country. Rather than making a big scene, and using our citizenship as a sword, I prefer the American spirit which seeks to celebrate the foundations of liberty and justice that we cherish.
A good example for me is the Teddy Bear toss, where once a year, thousands of people throw new stuffed animals on the ice for Children’s Charity. Truckloads of animals are carried away, as I think to myself, how much I appreciate living in a Country that takes care of it’s children. All the little ones that live here, regardless of their color, race or gender, are entitled to the freedoms and the opportunities that abound, and we want to make sure that they have them.
Fast forward to a girls softball game. Young women nurtured and raised in love grow up to be strong, healthy, smart. They are exactly the type of people we want to inherit the Earth.
This 4th of July, I look forward to sharing the American Spirit by spending time with family and enjoying the splendor of our Country; a Country that looks more beautiful to me with communities that are awash in color and camaraderie. When I do, I’ll be wearing these 4th of July Star Kicks.
Two Step 4th of July Star Kicks (DIY)
What you will need:
- Levi’s Ladies’ Denim Slip On Shoes w/ Comfort Tech (available here on Amazon.com)
- Assorted Star Buttons from Favorite Findings (available online here from Amazon and in-store from JoAnn’s)
Untie end knots and take out the laces of your denim slip ons. I’m not sure what is in that “Comfort Tech” stuff, but it makes your soles feel like they are walking on clouds. Whether you make 4th of July Star Kicks or not, you need these shoes!
String on star buttons. Re-lace and retie knots.
Now we are ready to settle in for the 4th of July Fireworks.
In our neck of the woods, we are lucky enough to have a hometown show that would knock your slip ons off. Here’s a pictorial peek at what our 4ths look like…
The sky is blue. The sun is hot. It’s looking to be the start of a great celebration already. Let’s be thankful for our freedoms and the 4th this year, just by spending quality time together and having each other’s backs.
Bring on the fireworks and the family. May you all have a blessed holiday!