July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day

There are so many magical times in nature when Red, White and Blue pop up and I started to celebrate those in this blog post. Then as I was looking through my photos I realized how often the United States flag has danced in front of my camera during the last year and a half, along with how frequently those photos were of ships, boats and the lot. Though the photo above, taken at the Monterey Wharf in CA, isn't flag bedecked, it was taken around the time the trend began. I will spare you all of the examples.

The images captured of flags are no coincidence. In hindsight, I see they reflect the point in time I began to feel more hopeful about the future of our country. It also felt right that some of those first photos were of the old sailing ships, many whose designs reflect those which sailed and defended our harbors before, during and after the Revolutionary War.

This fellow flies two contemporary US flags from his rigging
along with himself.

Some fly earlier designs.
This one marks 1776.

Whatever the flags vintage, there is just something heart gripping about the wind taking it up and giving it a good whipping. What a sound that is. What a sight.

For the last three hundred plus years, seven generations of my family have been proud to call North America home. They have fought and many have died in each of the wars we have undertaken. They were trappers, indentured servants, business owners and teachers, elected officials, farmers, writers and railroad workers, seamstresses, nurses and preachers, musicians, printers, shoe salesmen, cowboys and a hundred other things. And when the need arose, they were members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force, National Guard, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard. They fought with every manor of weapon at home and abroad. And those that survived, lived with the outcomes. Some moved on and lived out long healthy lives, while others paid life long physical and mental prices for defending our country and her people.

It's all those folks I'll be remembering this July fourth. Those that helped us become an independent nation and those that have helped to maintain it. My job is to be sure folks aren't paying those ultimate or hardship prices unless ABSOLUTELY necessary; to be vigilant, educated about US and world activities and to vote wisely.

Hope you have a wonderful Independence Day
and a scoop of potato salad for me too!

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