Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

What is 4th of July to most Americans? Swimming, the beach, hamburgers , hotdogs, the heat and sizzle of fireworks. Surely, it is all of those, but so much more. I woke up this morning thinking about all of the men and women who serve in our military. Regardless on my "position" on the war, those folks, those soldiers are overseas working day in and day out often in hazardous conditions. That's lysoled language isn't it? It's difficult to write and think about the war in real terms, but really? What's happening? Americans are dying in the war with Iraq. Isn't it close to 5,000 Americans lost now? And for what? Ultimately, for us. For you and me and children and families. So that my students in class can have desks and textbooks and teachers. So that Collin can have a childhood and play outside. When I was growing up, I always thought that I could enlist if I needed to in order to pay for my own college education. To me that was an option, work for the government, enlist and go to college on the G.I. Bill. Of course we weren't at war then. I didn't do it, obviously, but I thought about it a lot as a junior in high school. Many of my own students plan on enlisting. Some have been taking ROTC courses in high school, some haven't. Today, I can't help but think of one of my softball players from a decade ago at Winter Park High: little Jean McCurry. Fabulous player, smart girl, dark irish with freckles across her nose. I remember how surprised I was to see her picture in the Sentinel with a paragraph about her serving overseas. She was one of those ROTC students I had. So, today, I'm sending up a prayer and a big thank you for Jean and all of my students who have gone on to serve our country. I think of you all more often than you know. Be safe and Godspeed home.

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