Friday, July 1, 2011

The Patriotic Post

I'm not a flag waving patriot. I don't even own a flag. I do own prayer flags, but not an American flag. This does not mean that I'm not patriotic though. I'm a quiet, unflag-waving, slacker, ex-patriot kinda patriot. Maybe because my parents are both Canadian. And no, I don't have a Canadian flag and I don't know the words to O'Canada either. But then again, does anyone?

I have to say living in the states I took freedom for granted. It didn't require my appreciation, it was there regardless of my slacker attitude toward it. But, when you live in a country run by a monarch who is also the religious leader, where it's illegal to be gay and women don't have as many rights as men, that's when you truly appreciate being an American. Don't get me wrong, Morocco is making great strides and creating a parliamentary government. In 2004 Moroccan women got the right to divorce their husband and to be able to own property from that marriage. Unfortunately, it's still illegal to be gay.

So essentially, Morocco ain't America. Nowhere in the world is. Not even Canada. Not that America is a paradise of perfection by any means. But we have the right to be perfectly flawed. And we exercise that right regularly. Watch any American reality tv show. You can be an absolute idiot in America whether you're gay or not, a woman or a man, no matter your race or creed. Then you can go on a reality show and prove you're an idiot. Then we export this stupidity all over the world and someone makes a pretty penny doing it, which might actually propel the arguement that your flaws can make you rich. Welcome to America.

A couple weeks ago our friend Doug invited us to his retirement ceremony from the Air Force held at the US Embassy here. He was celebrating 26 years of service. Just think of all that's happened globally in the last 26 years. The Soviet Union is dismantled and no longer a threat. And threats don't come from countries as much any more, they come more from terrorists and the environment. I mean we live a time where a former steroid user, actor and general meathead was elected Governor of California. And we also live in a time where people were shocked he turned out to be a scum bag. Really, this is scary world stuff.

Doug has been overseas most of his career. He's married to Bobbie and has four amazing kids. (Americans LOVE the word amazing.) What's scarier than putting your life on the line in service of your country? Retiring and moving back to the states with no job, no car, no house, 4 kids and a wife and the scariest of all, shopping at Walmart. You know what else is going to be even more shocking for a family who has lived abroad? Everyone or most everyone anyway, speaking English everywhere. Or Spanglish, whatever. Then wishing you didn't know English because you now know the whole life story of that rude lady with her cell phone in line behind you in Walmart.

So today, I say thank you Doug for wearing the blue suit with the non-regulation shoes. Oh you can TELL me they are regulation shoes, but I do not believe you. Thank you for spending your life serving so that we may have white eggs, bad reality tv shows, a hundred choices or more in the cereal aisle, obnoxious cell phone talkers and Walmart. Oh yeah, and all that other really important stuff too.

To all our service men and women whether you wear a blue suit, a green suit, a camo suit or your birthday suit, thank you for making everyday Independence Day in America! Now go wave a flag. Or not.


Jack Scott said...

This a lovely, thoughful post. So your parents are Canadian? Well, that virtually makes you a Brit. To be proud of where you are from is fine. To think you're a cut above is not. For me that's the difference between patriotism and nationalism. Too much of the latter causes wars (second only to religion!). So Yanks love 'amazing'. I thought it was 'awesome.' ;-)

Paige Kraus said...

Lovely, Marie! Being married to a retired Navy man (I'm sure Tony would bleed Navy blue if you cut him!), I have gained such an appreciation for the freedoms we have here - despite how abused those freedoms frequently are. I have never been more proud of him or of being an American as when I participated in his retirement ceremony six years ago, so I could relate to your feelings at your friends' recent retirement. Being a dedicated Navy man, we not only have an American flag, but we also have a Navy flag...our problem is which one to fly on the 4th of July??? I'll leave that decison up to Tony!

David said...

Been around the world and while America isn't perfect it's superior to any other!! I'm always proud to be an American and proud of the military and the job they perform around the globe. Gonna relax on the 4th, grill out, have some beers, and watch the fireworks show...That's life!!

The Loerzels said...

We Americans love amazing and awesome and if we really love it it's amazingly awesome!


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