Wednesday, May 5, 2010

God Bless America

I'm the mother of four young children. That makes my life exciting by default. You know, the surge of adrenaline that comes when at 2:47am a child mumbles "Mommy, I'm going to throw uuuuppp". Or the mad dash for a stack of napkins when orange juice is knocked over at breakfast. It certainly breaks up the routine! (...or is that the routine?)

This month had a different kind of exciting. I was able to be a county delegate at my county's nominating convention. There were charismatic political candidates, campaign signs, eager delegates, and lots of excitement. In fact, ninety percent of the nearly 1500 delegates attending the convention were first-timers.

The convention had a set agenda which included party business, speeches, voting, and waiting for the results. As we waited, the county party chairman stood up and announced that it would be ten more minutes until the results came in. Several people from the crowd stood up to the common microphone and offered a scuffle of suggestions on what to do while we were waiting. "Let's alter the agenda!" "Let's vote on the resolutions!" "Let's sit and wait!" But a single thought raced through my head and my heart pounded. I knew what we needed to do.

Suddenly, I stood up, and made my way to the common microphone. The words that came out of my mouth filled the expansive exposition center. "I know this may be unconventional, but how about a patriotic sing-along?" The crowd laughed their approval. "God bless America," I said firmly.

With absolutely no permission from Robert Rulsovorder (whoever he is) the chairman took the microphone and said, "We're going to sing patriotic songs. Please lead us." I made my way to the front of the delegates, political candidates, the governor, senators and congressmen. "God Bless America," the crowd instinctively rose to their feet and the fire of patriotism filled the room. "Land that I love..." And the moment thrilled.

We stood, not as 1500 delegates, but as one, as we then unified our voices in the National Anthem. We sang with with our hands on our hearts, and our hearts in our throats. Facing the flag, we were firm and unwavering in our love for America. We raised our voices to proclaim that America and all that she stands for is good, just and right.

We were changed that day. Unified in song. Unified in love for our country. Unified as true Americans. God bless America.

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