Monday, July 2, 2007

"bombs burstin in air..."

In two short days, city streets across the United States will be filled with eager spectators-- it's firework season!

For me, Independence Day is reminiscent of parades that as a child I envied because of the the marching band, the same band I proudly served as a four-year member while attending high school.

But July 4th was more than just about music or marching, but rather the emotion that it all evoked. I loved to see the little American flags waving as we marched through our city.

My parents always made the 4th about a tradition of patriotism, of remembrance, and of respect-- it wasn't just about the annual backyard barbecue, volleyball game, or firework's display. The day was important to my Navy veteran parents. The made it priority for me.

"Serving and honoring your country is important," my father often reminded me. I have felt guilt for not doing it in the traditional sense, as my parents had as young adults, joining one of the Armed Forces.

Still as a teacher, I feel I am serving my country. I'm helping to build citizens. I teach the fundamental principals of our nation. I express what makes it great and work to discover possibilities of improvement... striving to enlist progressive leaders for our future. It's a powerful position, a teacher!

"Be all you can be!"

Have I? Have I done all I can? Will my students remember what it is they are celebrating this Wednesday? Will they fill lucky to be part of this country? Will they question how they can make it better, as responsible citizens? Will they wave a flag with pride when they hear the band?

These are crazy times: terror-fears, war, increased illiteracy, and a growing poverty rate. The more I live and grow, the more I become concerned for our nation and its people-- for our future.

Who needs a multi-billion dollar warship? Perhaps teaching, education for the future, is the greater weapon in securing democracy for all.

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