Earlier this month I participated in a parade to honor a local World War 2 veteran on his 100th birthday. It was a privilege to join the surprise celebration for one of our Greatest Generation.

Decades ago he served and sacrificed to preserve freedom against tyranny and oppression. Today he maintains a model attitude and expressed well his appreciation for the unexpected honor.

Blue lives mattered, as the local police escorted the motorcade that consisted of many vehicles, motorcycles, and American flags. Surrounded by family and friends, the honoree enjoyed 20 minutes of the parade’s waves, smiles, and honks — all representing love and respect from many well-wishers.

I thought the prominence of so many flags spoke well of our American small town and its patriotism. It made me proud and gave me hope. I saw evidence of many patriotic Americans as flags waved all along the parade route.

With sadness I recalled the lack of respect shown in recent months by some athletes who refused to stand in honor of our flag that waved so proudly while brave individuals fought for our country so many perilous times. I cannot help but think that those who withhold honor due are woefully unknowing or just fail to understand the meaning and significance for which our flag stands.

It is right that we pledge and salute our American flag if we are grateful for our freedom and liberty. Our country is not perfect since imperfect citizens make up its populace, but I challenge anyone to find a better one!

I am thankful for one man who remains a proud American even at age 100 years. Birthday blessings to you, Mr. Hamilton!

Today I remember another birthday…. Today is my father’s birthday, and he would be 100 years old if he were still living. He was also a WW2 veteran and a patriotic American. I appreciate learning to respect and honor our flag from his example.

Thinking of my father’s generation gives me hope. Happy birthday, Daddy!

As long as I am physically able to stand, that is how I will respond to our Red, White, and Blue. Long may Old Glory, the Star-spangled Banner wave in freedom for all. May the hope that I feel when I view our flag spread to others along with peace and unity throughout our post-Christian nation.

I believe that God will bless America as America blesses God. That understanding gives me hope as I recall the following Scripture from the Old Testament.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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