In Honor of Flag Day: Pride and Humility

US Flag

June 14 is Flag Day in the USA.  I always thought it was great that amid all the holidays set aside to honor Mother, Father, Veterans, and our Independence, that there was still a special day just for our country’s flag.

It wasn’t until I was grown, and began to read about and visit other lands that I realized that other children felt just as strongly about their country as I did about mine.

I had been instilled with such a sense of privilege and honor that I lived in a land, “choice above all other lands,” that it hit me like a brick that all those “other lands” are filled with God’s children, and they also feel love, loyalty and gratitude for the blessings of their homes and families and culture.

I have had the fortune to work closely with translators in and from many different countries.  This has been a marvelous opportunity for me to grow close to people of diverse cultures.  And I am grateful for those friends.

So when I was writing my book, Year-Round Read-Aloud, Read-Along Rhymes:  Celebrating Holidays and Seasons,  I wanted to include something in addition to the very specific Fourth of July poem.  I wanted something that would express how I felt about my country, but would also speak to children growing up in other places.

Honor

Whenever I see my country’s flag,
I touch my hand to my heart.
Not for anyone else to see –
It’s something I do that’s just between me
And the love that I have for my country –
I touch my hand to my heart.

However I serve my country,
I will serve it with my heart.
Not because anyone tells me to –
It’s just something I know I want to do
To honor the service of others, too –
I will serve it with my heart.

oOo

 I was a little surprised with the way it turned out.  I rather like the tension between the speaker’s pride in country and the humility that keeps her from boasting.

Another Honor

I was brought to tears earlier this month when I saw the video of a young cymbal player in his school band.  I imagine the pride and the honor he must have felt to be the one adding the dramatic cymbal crashes to their performance of the National Anthem.  And the confusion and humility he must have felt when the strap on one of his cymbals broke, and he stood powerless to play his part.

In that video, you can see the options rushing through his head — trying to imagine how to recover and continue with his contribution to the performance.  In the end, he only takes a few seconds to decide what to do.  He turns and salutes his country’s flag, and remains saluting as his band members finish playing the Star Spangled Banner.

oOo

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About Susan Call Hutchison

A self-publishing author, editor and blogger. I have years of experience working one-on-one with readers and translators of English, at all levels of competence. My books include the Read-Aloud, Read-Along series and Mrs. Middlejoy's Church Mouse Adventures chapter books. I run an internet business from my home in Idaho and I tutor students learning English as a foreign language. Fostering literacy is my passion. I work to help families read, learn and enjoy creative time together.
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6 Responses to In Honor of Flag Day: Pride and Humility

  1. Flora Poste says:

    Lovely post and lovely poem! And I say ‘aye’ to it all: at our house, the Dutch, Canadian and American flag show love for the world. And what a remarkable young man: a good solution that gave him (part of) a standing ovation and a lovely smile of the girl with the drums;0)

  2. What a great poem to remind us to be proud of where we come from. I loved the clip. Children amaze me every day I love their perspective on life, always fresh, courageous and inventive to be sure.

  3. Sheryl says:

    The poem and post are wonderful. And, (I probably shouldn’t admit it) thank you for reminding me that today is flag day. When I was a child we always used to put flags out, but here in suburbia I’m less aware of when flag day is.

    • Thank you, Sheryl! Do you remember Flag Day and Fathers Day sometimes landing on the same day? I always thought that was appropriate, considering my Dad served in WWII and my Grandpa Call in WWI. Here in the little SE Idaho town of Chubbuck, lots of families still put out flags.

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