Patriotism in the Northwoods

October 3, 2017
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From the moment my family and I hop in the car, I cannot stop thinking about the pleasant times ahead. I try to open the window, wanting to feel the wind on my face, but the child lock is on. A thought plagues my mind; the thought of restriction. I then put myself in the shoes of others in less fortunate countries, however, I am unable to fully wrap my head around the idea...

Hours later, my dad rolls down the window, and I can hear the whisper of the Northwoods reaching out to me. Dopamine engulfs my brain, as I envision this Fourth of July weekend. We prepare to unpack, ready to unleash the built up excitement and energy. As I walk to the door, I gaze up at the American flag protruding from the cabin's outside wall. The red, white, and blue glisten in the sun. I grin as pride sweeps over me...

As the sun begins its descent into darkness, my dad says we are going to a firework show at the local airstrip. Twice in the same day, we are back in the same car, but with a different destination in mind. As we glide through the town, Veterans wave American Flags in their hands as we pass. Feelings of guilt sweep over me. The fact that they are waving at us—and it is not me doing the opposite—makes me feel selfish. I holler at my father to stop the car. I whip my door open and begin meandering over to the Veterans. Each one thanked the same way: a handshake and a “thank you for your service.” I get back into the car as my mouth widens into a grin...

We roll into the airstrip and within five minutes we are trapped by cars. As the orange, fiery giant gets ready for its slumber, a crack of a firework goes off, leaving a trail of glistening gunpowder. God Bless America, and all of those brave men who have gifted me the freedoms that I take for granted every single day I silently think to myself...






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