By Marsha M. Brown
Despite it all, hope was in the air!
Even with all that’s going on in our world today, this Fourth of July was one of the most uplifting and beautiful celebrations I have seen. Here, the weather was perfect, the TV coverage of areas across the United States was top notch and overall, it truly lifted my spirits!
Street side interviews or exchanges with the little flag wavers, teens, middle aged and the senior citizens too was so heartwarming and memorable, I just felt a compelling hope for our nation. I really did.
Those who had something to say were positive in their responses to questions about what July 4th meant to them; how they were planning to rejoice in the glory of it all and one brief interview with a very senior vet in his 90’s (WWII I believe) touched me to the core. He talked about what our being American meant to him and in his final comments he broke down and cried – his heartache about how things were going in our country today overflowed especially when he referenced the sacrifice of those who have died protecting and preserving the freedoms we have…his expressions and tears was a poignant reminder that our freedom is NOT free…it has been our blessing having been paid for by the blood of our military men and women and their families…it is a privilege because of those who have died. We sometimes take the full extent of it for granted, not because we mean to, but just because we’re used to it. I hope and pray it continues for all our children, grandchildren, great children and beyond.
Something just seemed different this year…the enthusiasm, the vigor, the smiles, the upbeat attitudes…the HOPE that was in the air, spoken in words and actions was touching and it made me smile a lot. The fireworks I watched that night was also on FOX and the National Mall and all it encompasses was…oh my word…incredible!! The colors…the starbursts…the glitzy glamour of our annual tradition was breathtaking, and I loved every minute of it.
I had considered driving close to downtown Manteo to watch our fireworks display but all day that day, the heroes, their testimonies, hearing about their injuries even one who had lost his eyesight, and re-enlisted active duty though blind was inspiring…folks that don’t honor and celebrate our heritage, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our monuments and memorials are…well, in my humble opinion just plain lame!
And yes, we had a horrible tragedy that day during a parade in Chicago, but you know what? Except for acknowledging the loss of those precious innocent lives due to the ill will of one person, I’ll refrain from further discussion on that choosing to think instead about the good of that day…the happiness and pride we felt (most of us anyway) and just remind us to pray for those who lived through it – for their recovery and help dealing with the trauma and aftermath. God bless all who were hurt or who lost their loved ones.
People ask, why would anyone do something so heinous? I’m no authority on the subject…but I believe that pot is a gateway drug to many problems in our society today. When my Billy was in law enforcement, he talked a lot to the folks who were incarcerated, and countless inmates told him they wished they had never started smoking pot…they told him that it made them want to get higher…and higher so they’d go to the next level and the next and on and on.
We wonder why things are so whacky yet we’re allowing more acceptance for legal consumption. There are hordes of scientific proof it has negative effects on the body and thought processes and that while it’s been proven to offer medical advantages, overall, it’s obvious its utilized mostly for recreational use…yet our governmental institutions are making it more accessible and more available. Why? Is it money over, the good of our youth and our nation? If I had a business, I would not hire anyone dependent on it to get through the day…I wouldn’t want to hang around anybody potted up…I wouldn’t want users to drive my grandchildren anywhere; take care of an elderly aging parent or to smell that stench or breathe in users secondhand smoke…plain and simple, it stinks! You can agree to disagree…that’s okay and you’re entitled to, and I still love you anyway…it’s just my opinion.
This Gig Line will be on the cusp of my husband dying from Agent Orange and brain cancer on July 12, 2016…six long years without him to look up to, to admire, to pray with, to laugh with and be held by. I miss him more than I can express but, on this July 4th, I remembered the wonderful years we celebrated together and how blessed I was to be his wife. We realized so many blessings, answers to prayers, had two beautiful children and four awesome grandchildren. This Fourth of July 2022, I felt the joy that he inspired in me to write about our vets and to honor what he and they…(you) as veterans have done for ALL of us and my gratitude is over the moon.
Thank you, Charlie and Sally, for your beautiful cards & letters; thank you for every single person who takes the time to read GIG LINE and who loves our flag…our beautiful stars and stripes and for what we as Americans stand for in this great big world.
Folks please pray for our troops, near and far; pray for their safety and for them to achieve their goals, whatever they might be. I’ve been collecting info and stories to share in the coming weeks, so hang in here with me and with all who can sort out and decipher right from wrong, good from evil, ridiculous from sensible and peace from chaos…thank you!
Until next time, be healthy, safe, and happy – love one another despite our differences, forgive and forget, if at all possible, and just know that good always overrides evil – that cream always rises to the top and I believe in the coming days, weeks, months and years we will see the pride in America rebound enthusiastically! Check out www.giglineheroes.com and do something special for a veteran or active duty! God bless you all and please call me if you want to talk (252) 202-2058 or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer at her office: (252) 475-5604 or through email@example.com – she is the only official liaison between you and the V.A. in Dare County and she’s eager to help you file a claim, obtain copies of your DD-214, discuss service connected disabilities etc. Remember how special you are…because you’re the only YOU that there is! I love you all, take care and stay tuned!