I can still remember the giant plane rolling gently to a stop. Standing as close as I could to the rope that stated clearly this is as close as I could stand to a moment in history I will never forget. I was a blonde headed, third-grade girl who could not really understand the significance of the day. I did know that President Reagan was not just a powerful man; he was our president – my president. Being a part of the group that welcomed the President to Macon, Ga and seeing him up close and personal instilled in me at that young age that America was bigger than any one person. As I went back to my school, I didn’t understand the significance of the day, but I did know that I had experienced something very special.
Now, I can look back and I understand the significance of that day. All these years later, I know that it was that experience that gave me my love for politics and my deep appreciation for this day that comes every four years. I grew up in a military town and continuously lived with the daily reminder of sacrifice and patriotism. I do believe that it was this daily experience that helped grow deep roots in me for the love I have for America and the pride that I feel to be an American. With how I grew up and where I grew up plus that one day of welcoming the President of the United States; I believe this is why I have been bothered on this particular Election Day.
I am not making a political statement. I do hope to bring us back to the reason we get to vote. I have been sad at times today about hearing others say, “Well, I got it over with.” This is our privilege. This is a gift that has been given to us paid with a great price. Our freedom to choose is the result of men and women who founded this country, penned our great Constitution, gave their life, stepped out in faith with courage to lead the world in freedom to freedom. It has been bothersome to me to see jokes on FaceBook and other social media such as Yes, I can understand what the meaning is behind the attitudes. Maybe you have not been excited about the choices on the ballot. Nevertheless, I might not be completely content with the choices, but I can still respect my freedom and enjoy the privileges and take seriously the responsibility given to me as a result of those who defend this freedom.
It is this day every four years that reveals the big picture. Living in the every day, we see pieces. But today, Election Day, each layer of our freedoms are seen. Individually we line up and cast our vote so that collectively we can move forward and be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Why would we have the attitude that sighs as if we had to go do something that we hated and was terrible? Why would we make light of a great freedom with stickers that send the message that you would rather have done anything else other than vote? Maybe we have lost sight of the sacrifices of the past and forget those that are defending this very freedom. This is not something that is owed to us and it is not something we are entitled to have. We as a people have been given this privilege and responsibility. The beauty of this responsibility and privilege is that we have the opportunity to use our voice. Our freedoms mean our voices are not silenced by a dictator. Our voices are not minimized by a King. Our voices are not ignored because we are of a lesser class. Because I live in the United States of America, I am thankful I get to vote. I voted with dignity and I voted knowing that my voice was heard.
We won’t agree on every thing or every candidate and what each one is for or against. Yet, that is what makes this country great. It is our agreements and our disagreements that unite us. We can be on opposing sides and we are still American. We can disagree and we all are still protected. The flag flies high and the Eagle soars majestically over America, The Beautiful.