I admit it, I am a sappy, get-goosebumps-in-any-given-corny-moment, lover of all things passionate and beautiful. Hearing "The Sound of Music" surprisingly played by the Army Band--goosebumps. Birds cast in shadow flying across a twilight blue sky? Goosebumps. The closing scene of a musical production? You guessed it, goosebumps! (and often a tear or two, I just can't help myself!) But today, as we watched the parade downtown and the Active Duty colorguard came up the street...as people stood and applauded or saluted the soldiers or put their hands on their hearts.....well, as my youngest would say, goosebumps times a million!
This was a picture of America. A snapshot of our wonderful country. The street was awash in shades of red, white, and blue: clothing, hats, balloons, streamers, decorations on storefronts, everywhere were the colors of our great nation. This is a holiday that people seem to truly remember exactly what the day means and the freedom this day reminds us we are so blessed to have.
As the four soldiers came marching up Main Street, flags in hand, feet marching in precise unison, the applause that was heard was not deafening. It wasn't the sound of a crazed crowd for a celebrity, nor the sound of screams, hoots, and hollers of fanatic fans at sports games; no, this applause was different, it was powerful, meant to be heard and meant to send those soldiers a message of love and support and thanks for what they do. The applause was deep and loud, and filled the air with such American spirit and pride it was palpable and contagious. One of the most remarkable things was that neither the soldiers holding the flags, nor the soldiers that followed driving the several military vehicles, broke their military attention-aside from an eye contact here and there, or a small nod or wink to a child. The discipline they held upon themselves was incredible to see, and I believe that discipline expressed is what made the reaction of the crowd that much more respectful, passionate, and beautiful. There was one man shouting "Thank you!", (and even that was subdued) but aside from that there were no voices, it was Americans standing together, shoulder to shoulder saying thank you to those Armed Forces personnel; and as I observed this and the quiet reserve of those soldiers, yes-goosebumps times a million, but also tears in my eyes from the pride and love of our wonderful country.
Political parties? Campaign races? For today, we come together to show the world that America stands strong and proud.