BY LEANN DILBECK –
A nighttime aerial view of our nation’s capital was my first glimpse of this great city as the plane prepared for landing in Washington DC and made quite an impression on a young, bright-eyed, ambitious, and very southern 24-year old. My welcome crew took me for a nighttime site seeing tour of the National Mall. I stood with goose bumps as I stood in the midst of sites I had only seen in movies or on a magazine page… as I stood knowing some of the greatest men in history had also once trod. Later in the week, my husband would fly out to meet me and we spent several days walking and touring the monuments. He admittedly didn’t want to make the trip until he got there and was as awestruck as I was.
As we come upon the 241st birthday of our nation, I believe we should never forget the vision and the fortitude of the men who birthed this nation and the sacrifice of thousands who have died protecting the freedoms we all enjoy. Washington DC was much more than a trip or a vacation. It was an experience. An experience that made a lasting impression on us; we are still talking about it 20 years later. And as unrealistic as it is to say, I believe every American should experience it first hand.
Our son recently returned from a week in DC and how grateful we were to see that it had the same effect on him. Our prayer is that no generation will ever forget or take for granted the great men and women who came before them forging the many opportunities and freedoms that they now enjoy so freely.
Arlington was as humbling to our son as it was us. As far as the eye could see, over acres and acres of beautiful gently rolling hills… white headstones… and to know that they are running out of room.
So, it literally sends chills up my spine when fellow Americans express such incredibly negative and insulting comments about our country… I will be the first to admit, we certainly have our share of problems but to express such disgraceful comments is an insult to each and every life that has been lived and/or sacrificed for this country. If it had not been for the men on the battlefield and in our government that had the vision to birth this nation, life as we know it would be much different. Put those passionate thoughts that are so freely posted as you sit behind the comfort of your keyboard and be willing to make the same sacrifices to “be the change you’d like to see in the world.” At the very least, pray… pray the same prayer of John Adams that are inscribed on the mantel of the fireplace in the State Dining Room of the White House “I pray Heaven to bestow the best blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”