I’m finally getting a chance to write about this story from July 4. July was a very busy month for me, but this story has been on my mind, and I can’t write about anything else until I share this with you.
Back on the 4th of July, our newspapers all around this great country ran some great stories. Parades in small towns. Kids waving flags. Community picnics. And of course fireworks celebrations everywhere. It was indeed a great day. But it was a story on an inside page of section B in my local newspaper (Green Bay Press-Gazette) that brought tears to my eyes. And not just because of the story itself, but because someone decided it wasn’t worthy of the front page.
The story, written by Mike Tharp for McClatchy Newspapers, told us about 1,215 soldiers in Iraq who raised their right hands to Gen. David Petraeus and re-pledged their allegiance to the United States of America. It was billed as the largest reenlistment ceremony ever. These soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are in Baghdad, overseas, on a tour, already in harms way, and protecting us every day, all day. And each one of them said, “yes, sign me up again…”
That’s what it’s all about folks. While we celebrated here in America, while we ate hot dogs and apple pie and waved flags at our local parades and watched fireworks, our brothers and sisters in uniform, with the American flag stitched on their shoulders, raised their hands and pledged to continue to protect our right to celebrate.
This is one of the most patriotic photos you’ll ever see: