It never fails.
Every time I see Old Glory waving proudly in the breeze or hear the soul-stirring patriotic music, I can't help but feel a sense of pride deep in my gut. All of a sudden, the fact that I was injured in the second Iraq skirmish (which cost me my legs) remains but a distant memory, as I feel I contributed to a part of America remaining free today.
Today of all days is one where I feel especially blessed. I may not have been born here (as I was born in the Land Down Under, Australia), but I moved here when I was thirteen and became a citizen. I also served in the military when I was eighteen; remained active in the Marines until I was horribly injured nearly two years ago. Got honorably discharged, where I now get a disability pension to see me for the rest of me days. I am Aussie by birth, but I am American by law and by choice. America is my home now.
I went to the city's parade this morning with me family (me mum and pop, and my baby sister, Charlie, who is 34); now we are in downtown Nashville for the annual "Red, White, and BOOM!" Festival; we'll be here until the fireworks have ended; then we'll fight the traffic to get home safely. I am having a most wonderful time; just had a terrific lunch that the Nashville DAV put on (ALL Veterans and their families eat free!) and am currently letting me belly flop around. Oh, lunch was so good! Had beef brisket, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, three bean salad, cooked carrots, broccoli, and for dessert, home-made peach cobbler. YUM!!
Now we're listening to a local country band and letting our food digest. I'm laughing at Charlie; she is acting silly by dancing between her crutches and grinning like a fool! She absolutely adores music of all kinds! Always has, always will! Charlie is certainly having the time of her life!
The fireworks for tonight are scheduled to last at least 45 minutes in length; they are reputed to be one of the biggest (and longest lasting) displays in the nation. So far, the weather has held, but earlier, we had some storms roll thorugh here, but not enough to ruin the fireworks. Hope we don't have any more storms; I don't want to have to look forward to seeing the fireworks, only to have them rained out! That would just piss me off royal!!
Later, around three thirty/four, they're scheduled to have a military flyover featuring two B-17's (wonder if they are the two we saw earlier during the parade) and an SR-71. That ought to be exciting (not to mention, noisy ...)!
Then it's back to more music and military tributes/speeches before the "We Sing America!" Patriotic Program, which is scheduled to start at 7 prior to the fireworks display, which is to commence at 9:30, just as it gets good and dark.
I just hope I don't have any issues .. I don't want to have to go to the First Aid station because I get sick or because some complication or personal matter develops! So far, me body has been behaving itself; I hope and pray that continues!
Well, I want to have me camera ready for when the planes/jets fly overhead, so I'd best load up the film and put in new batteries before that happens. Don't want to miss a thing! I will write in here again soon; until later, this is Abbigale Winslow saying so long and God bless!
And ... Happy Birthday, America, and Happy Independence Day to each and every one of my fellow Americans!! May your day be full of fun, family, food, festivities, and above all, FIREWORKS!!
~Love, Abbi. :)