Monday, May 2, 2011

Home of the Brave

Last night the entire country expressed a collective sigh of relief as the news of Osama Bin Laden's death spread across the land.  We were a nation unified in thought. We were a nation brought together by a momentous occasion. We were a nation free from one man's hatred. College students poured out of their dorms to cheer for America.  People flooded the gates of the White House to sing America's praises. The many many people who lost loved ones on 9/11 could feel a weight lifted after 10 long years. America the Beautiful. America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  The Midshipman at United States Naval Academy cheered in unison and sang the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America proudly so everyone could feel the passion and dedication they have to keeping our country safe from tyranny. My daughter and I texted long into the night as the news continued to unfold. She has many close friends that have service selected Navy Seals and felt proud to know them. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride as well. When my daughter first entered the gates of the Naval Academy - I didn't know anyone else at the Academy. I didn't know any of the moms or dads or midshipmen. Now I have friends across the globe.  When I see pictures of the midshipmen celebrating - I will often recognize someone in the picture and think that is "Marian's" son or that is "Patty's" daughter or hey - that is "Joe". It is quite a different feeling when you actually know someone who is a Navy Seal or a Submarine Officer or a Marine Corp officer. I feel a deeper connection. A deeper passion for our country's security and freedom. I know what commitment it takes to be in the service. I know what is at stake.  Today is one of those days where I wish I could just hug my daughter. Of course I can't - and there will be so many more days to come where we will be separated but I know she is meant to be there. I know she is out there and her friends are out there sacrificing their wants and needs so we can be free.  The only thing I can think of today is Thank You. Thank you to my daughter, to her friends, to the friends of her friends and thank you to all that serve.

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