Tag: patriotism

Love of Country Ingrained…

Hey, it’s Ruthy here, and I love being part of Stars & Spurs week here at the hoppin-est Western group of cowboy-lovin’ gals there is…

What is it about Western images and culture and determination that makes us think of flag and country?

Well, it could be that flag flyin’ high at ranches all across the West/Midwest.

Or those small town celebrations that make us remove our hats, put a hand over our hearts and feel a prayer even if not one cotton-pickin’ word comes out of our mouths.

Or it could be at the graveside of a young man, the sharp knife of a short life, gone too soon in defense of his country. According to Wikipedia, over 80,000 soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen/women never plowed another field or husked another ear of corn following World War II, the Korean conflict and the Viet Nam War…

From some of the least-populated states came tens of thousands of Homeland Heroes.

From the “fly-over” states came the sound– and the cost– of freedom.

The sound of “Taps” being played on that single horn.

Bagpipes toning the tear-jerking chords of “Amazing Grace”

And the sight of a cowboy, on horseback, hunting that last calf as the sun dips down behind him.

The reminder of Christ and that shepherd we all love so much, leaving the 99 safe and sound to go after the one lost sheep.

When I think of Stars and Stripes and Spurs, that’s what comes to mind.

That in an amazing country that had been so divided 85 years before, shedding the blood of so many in a Civil War that tore us apart and bound us together, so many stood strong in the face of international terror when faced with the scourge of Hilter and Mussolini and Stalin, heartless men whose selfishness and greed dictated the loss of millions…

The image of a cowboy, standing guard at the gate or delivering a calf or a lamb or rocking his own baby floods our hearts with the goodness of the American West. This thought-provoking photo comes from Priscilla Du Preez over at Unsplash.

Because in the West it doesn’t matter how tall you are…

But how tall you stand.

And may God bless America….

Tobias Keller, Unsplash

Ruthy is giving away two copies of her newest Love Inspired Western “Healing the Cowboy’s Heart” to a couple of lucky cowgirls or boys but you’ve got to carry on the conversation below because when it comes to faith, hope and love, the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom stands strong, doesn’t it? And don’t get your knickers in a twist if you haven’t gotten your books from last month… you know our Ruthy lives on a farm and the grumpy farmer has been fighting rain, rain, and more rain so every little job doesn’t get done once… or twice… but three, four or five times. But they know they’re blessed to have jobs and lives beyond the farm, so there’s no lamentation… just a time-drain, folks. And one of these days our Ruthy will get to the Post Office and send out the last few weeks of books…. Sure as shootin’! 

Feel free to shout out the folks you know who have served… they have blessed every one of us by that sacrifice of time and safety!

 

 

December 7, 1941–A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Driving down one of the busiest streets of Oklahoma City today, I noticed a flag at a local business flying at half-staff.  It was the only one on that block.  I’m sure many people wondered about it. 

But I remembered

December 7, 1941…the day the U.S. was brought into World War II with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. 

Through the years, my mother recounted tales brought home from “over there” by her relatives who enlisted.  She talked also about the rationing here at home—how difficult it was to get needed items, and how impossible it was to get luxuries.  She was 19 when the U.S. entered the war—just the very age of so many of the young men who were killed in the surprise attack on December 7, 1941.  Was there a man of that age who didn’t rush down to sign up for duty after that fateful day?  Many of her fellow students and co-workers did just that, and during the course of the next four years of war, many of them were lost. 

My father tried to sign up, but his lungs were bad.  He was turned away.  I think he was always ashamed of that, because until the day he died, he had one of the most patriotic hearts I’ve ever known.  Secretly, when I was old enough to realize what that might have meant, I was glad that he had not had to go to war.  I knew that would have changed everything in my world. 

Being as close as it was to Christmas made the deaths of the men at Pearl Harbor even more poignant.  Just done with Thanksgiving, looking forward to the Christmas holidays to come, so many young lives snuffed out in the space of minutes. Watching the documentaries, hearing the old soldiers that are left from that time talk about the horror of that day, and of war in general, brings tears to my eyes. 

 

I’m always amazed by the generations that have gone before us, and how they stood up and faced adversity when it was required of them.  Being human, as we all are, the unknown was just as frightening to them as it is to us.  We tend to forget it, somehow, because of the luxury and comforts of our modern lives that we have become used to.  We have let ourselves become numb, in a way, and what’s worse—we have forgotten.

 

We have forgotten what the generations before us sacrificed for us, their future.  We have forgotten how to honor the memory of those men and women, and what they did, individually and collectively.  

I counted flagpoles the rest of the way home from that one, lonely half-staff flag—about a mile and a half to my house.  There was only one other pole along that route that flew their flag half-staff in memory of that day seventy years ago.  A day that ended in smoke, and fire, drowning and death…and war. 

Something peculiar occurs to me.  I have been alive during the time when the last surviving widow of a veteran of The War Between The States died.  I have been alive during the time that the last survivor of World War I died.  There are not that many survivors left of World War II.  Yet, our schools pass over these huge, world-altering events as if they are nothing, devoting a page or less to them in the history texts.  Think of it.  A page or less, to tell of the suffering, the economic impact, the technological discoveries, and the loss of humanity of each of these wars. 

No wonder our society has forgotten the price paid by those who laid down their lives.  When we don’t teach our children, and learn from the past, history is bound to repeat itself.  

President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 as “a day that will live in infamy.”  That statement, spoken so boldly, believed so strongly, held so close to the hearts of that generation, is only true as long as the next generation, and the one beyond that, remembers.

 

Well, many years have passed since those brave men are gone

And those cold ocean waters now are still and they’re calm.

Well, many years have passed, but still I wonder why,

The worst of men must fight and the best of men must die.

(From REUBEN JAMES, by WOODY GUTHRIE)