The final book we read was Blue Willow by Doris Gates. Such a precious and sweet story. But this I read in the last chapter and had to note it so I can read it over and over again.
"After the parade, they all sang 'The Star Spangled Banner.' Janey was proud to see that Dad took off his hat. She lifted her eyes to the flag. Over and above them all, with languid grace, it unfolded its vivid bars. There wasn't much wind and sometimes it drooped almost against he pole. But just when Janey had decided it might become entirely limp, a fresh gust would seize it and lift it out over the crowd again. It didn't matter in that least, she thought as with eyes glued to it she reached for the high notes in the national anthem; it didn't matter in the least whether it floated from the unpainted pole at Camp Miller or here above the tall gables of Western Union High School. It was simply the flag; nothing could add to its splendor or dim its glory. She could feel that it stood for something important and big. But what that something was, she couldn't have said if anyone had asked her. It would take a grown-up to do that. For to Janey and the other boys and girls standing there, the flag stood for their trust in the present and their hope in the future."
Oh, I remember that feeling, that truth. But, I don't know that the flag still gives me "trust in the present" and "hope in the future." Things in this country just aren't the same as they once were. My children are growing up in a different America than I did. Heartbreaking. Still, we can return to this reality if only we assert ourselves and demand competent leadership and pray.
"If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." ~2 Chronicles 7:14