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Guest Column: Flagging the Fourth


Got our flag pole put up the other day. It is one of those in sections that can telescope up and down for maintenance, like the one in the advertisement that keeps popping up in my word games on Facebook. The ad shows it erected in the bed of a pickup truck going 100-plus miles per hour down the freeway.

Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

It stands stately there in the front yard. I see the flag flapping in the warm summer breezes through the window panes of our wooden front door. The flag is striking to anyone who drives past the two brick columns at the entrance to our circle drive. It sits on a little rise on top of the stone retainer wall.

Viewing the flag speeds up my heartbeat and reminds me how proud and lucky I am to live in the United States of America. Not only the good ole’ USA, but in the south, in a border state, the last state to secede from the Union in the Civil War and the first state to rejoin the Union after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Mornings here often begin with asking Alexa to play the “Star Spangled Banner.” Alexa likes the one by the United States Marine Corps band, which makes it especially meaningful. And I stand from my Lazy-Boy® and face the flag with my right hand over my heart. That’s just the way I was taught.

Many mornings, right after the National Anthem finishes, I get Alexa to play “Rocky Top.” Those are my two favorite songs and help get the day off to a positive start. If that doesn’t work, then there’s this jazzed-up version of Reveille bugle call from the West Point Band.

Isn’t technology wonderful? Alexa also listens well, sometimes even snoops.

Did I say that I feel lucky to live in the USA? We have an opportunity to live where we want to live, travel where we want to go, and have the freedom to worship where we like, at least for now. We have opportunities to get an education and train for whatever profession we set our minds and hearts to. Red, yellow, black and white. And all points in-between.

It may not be soon, or ever again for that matter, but in my opinion, it would be nice to start school days again with saying the pledge and an offering a prayer. Or vice versa.

There’s no other country on God’s green earth where I would rather live.

This Fourth of July weekend I look forward to patriotic music, fireworks, and a burnt hot dog. Maybe a charcoaled marshmallow.

Life is good.

Editor’s note: Dennis Richardson is the CEO and President of Magic Valley Publishing Co., Inc.

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