Having returned from a three week teaching trip to China last week, I spent the week recovering from jet lag and watching the Olympics, non-stop. I never cease to be amazed at the athletes, their abilities, their dedication, their sacrifice, and the sacrifices of their family members. My only irritation has been when American athletes stand in their medal ceremonies looking as if they have never heard the national anthem. I know that many are overcome with emotion but they could at least move their lips. Call me sappy, but I can hardly watch a medal ceremony without tearing up. I often think, these kids have no idea how blessed they are to live in the land of the free! They have no idea how many men and women have given their lives so that we all can enjoy the freedoms that we do. My husband and daughter and I attended the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. We only had tickets to the Bird’s Nest Stadium for one night. It happened to be a night when three American athletes were receiving all three medals for a single track and field event. It was a great time to be there. My husband had gone to get water for us because it was blazing hot so he was not in his seat next to us but had to watch the ceremony from elsewhere. I had already instructed my daughter that we would be singing the national anthem! And sing we did!
We were surrounded by Asians and we sang as best as we could as we were filled with pride and thankfulness for our country! A Chinese lady behind us insisted on taking the photo. One thing the Chinese people do get is patriotism. They put us to shame in that area. Many businesses, including restaurants, have the employees march out to the flag pole to raise the flag before opening every day! While that may be overkill, perhaps we could learn something from them. One thing that my children have learned from international travel is that they are blessed to live in the land of the free and the brave and that it came at a great price.
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