As I watch the "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" I remember my father's feelings about this country. He always thought it was a disgrace to wear the flag on your clothing, unless it was part of an official uniform. I carry some of those same thoughts today. I bothers me some times as I see people wear the flag as shorts or shirts or bathing suits. To me it is disrespectful the way some people decorate their bodies with the flag, it makes the flag to common. As I've done my genealogy I've learned some of the sacrifices of my forefathers. I've come to appreciate their services and commitment to this great country. My maternal grandfather and his cousins served proudly during WW II and even 1 cousin died in that great war. That may not sound to amazing, but my grandfather was first generation American and and since both his parents were from Italy there were some problems. His aunt and uncle almost went to a relocation camp because of their heritage, but they lived across the road from the cut off point and were allowed to stay in their home.
Many people of Japanese, Italian and German heritage were sent to relocation camps because of their heritage and yet these same families proudly sent their sons and brothers off to war. While they and the rest of their families were sent to camps in some ways worse than the conditions they grandparents or them left the old country. Yet these same people taught their children to be proud to be an America and to be proud to live where freedoms ring.
There is something to studying history and learning about our forefathers. It is learning what it is we truly have. It is seeing how blessed we are.