I've never been much of a flag waver. For me, the 4th of July has been a family day with smokey bar-b-ques, potato salad, and coolers loaded with drinks, and ice cream, and sparklers in the evening...but not much more than that. I guess I was just a more subtle kind of citizen. But that all changed on this day in September when I, too, bled red, white, and blue.
Hundreds of moms, dads, brothers, sons, sisters, and daughters of all colors and creeds died that day simply because they went to their jobs in the city where dreams are supposed to be made and before they had a chance to finish their work, they became part of our tragic landscape...a horrid nightmare.
I saw red that day in the explosive flames that engulfed the buildings and incinerated innocents. I saw red on the faces of people crying and clutching to shreds of dreams past. I saw red in the blood of our future.
I saw white in the ashen smoke that stormed through the big city like a choking omen of fear. I saw white in the surgical masks of brave rescuers and in wound wrappings on survivors. I saw white on the posters and photos of the lost and loved. I saw white in the eyes of anger that searched for killers and reasons.
I saw blue in the flashing lights of the downtown turmoil. I saw blue in the uniforms of the stoic and wet-eyed officers who tried to secure the scene and whose bravery inspired a nation. I saw blue in the ink of students who wrote about their fears and hopes.
Now, I look up to the sky of our creator and there in the infinite blue of tomorrow I search for better days.
Today, my flag waves from every place in this land. Its freedom wraps us together as a stronger people, as a more united people. I am an enthusiastic flag waver and I am so very proud of the red, white, and blue...as it should be with all of you.
*I wrote this for a first-year-anniversary memorial of 9/11.