Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Another 4th of July dawns and I am up with the sun. The Fourth is a favorite holiday because it's the birthday of our country. As a child of the 60's I demonstrated against the war in Vietnam and worked to change politics and tried to make life better for those less fortunate. There is much criticism of boomers and some of it may be warranted however through Facebook I've connected with classmates. Now in our early 60's I feel gratified to discover that many are teachers, ministers, social workers, and in other professions that continue to seek to create life as better for others. None of these folks are narcissistic or selfish. They intentionally live in community with others and are conscious of the community being created.

My own family enfolds many of the same people working to make the world a better place for others through medicine, education and human services. It's our family passion. I am so pleased to be a part of this family by the happy "accident of birth" When I pause to think about how my generation was created in this way I see it as a natural outcome of World War II. As the children of the greatest generation we were loved and cherished by parents who knew what the world was capable of creating both good and evil. Coming back from the war and seeing its tragedies and triumphs they chose to create a better world of their own choosing that celebrated security and opportunity that was created through the same time war time commitment applied to postwar life . Heroism abroad became as heroism at home as they built families, careers and homes.

In the current global crisis and crisis at home people are revisiting the values and behaviors of a previous generation and going back to basics. Again it's a salute to the parents who created safety and opportunity. Many of my friends and fellow bloggers celebrate the lives of parents and their legacies in their own lives to create home and security like they enjoyed for their own families and others. While the 4th of July is a birthday celebration it's also a celebration of heritage of generations long ago and family remembered for their sacrifice and commitment. We enjoy the benefits of that sacrifice and sometimes we just forget for a while and become more focused on our own lives and that of current generations. I try to take time to connect to the past through my growing interest in genealogy and the lives of my family. I celebrate them in my own way by trying to share my love with them and my appreciation for their hard work and vision and dedication to their families.

There are many heroes among the generations but the ones I know the most are the ones I'm best able to celebrate. I regularly celebrate my wonderful uncle who had a career in the military that spanned many global conflicts. I celebrate him and his family and offer my sincere gratitude for their actions and commitment. This year we lost my sweet Aunt Jimmie who was the soldier at home. Her passing touched us all deeply and made us cherish even more the time we have left with that generation. My Uncle Jack is one of my personal heroes and I am thrilled to enjoy a relationship that gives me so much. I just hope that my love and affection provides something for him. He's a great guy.

My Mom is a shero in my life because she taught me about being a Mom and caring for family and home. She also taught me a lot about fun and being a Granna as my little ones call me. I've never been able to do laundry in the way that my daughter loves as much as her Mimi's . I try to make up for it with cooking love. The other veteran in my life is my Dad. He is not the kind of person who likes to be made the center of attention but he takes great pride in his accomplishments as he should. He served in the Army in the Korean war. We were stationed at what is now Fort Polk in Louisiana. He was a physician and worked hard. He is proud of his military service as we all are. A year ago I visited him in Florida. We went to see the Glen Miller orchestra. At the end of the concert that last song was dedicated to the veterans and they were asked to stand. My heart lept as Dad stood. Looking out at the sea of older men was an awe inspiring experience.

So to all of the veterans in the United States and soldiers thank you for your sacrifice. You are in my heart and I think of you daily with gratitude and hope. I hope and want to create that we don't need soldiers and sacrifice from families like Aunt Jimmie's and Uncle Jack's and my parents in the future and that we all have the opportunity see our nation's Declaration and Constitution lived out in the lives of all.


  1. Both Korean doc veterans....will the similarities never end..... What's for dinner?

  2. very touching tribute to the heroes and sheroes in your life.


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