Friday, August 28, 2009
I Will Never Forget This Day.
When you see your son for the first time as a United States Marine it is the most overwhelming feeling in the world. Standing before us were 350 dedicated young men that wanted to be Marines. They were not drafted or forced but there is something inside them that drove them to serve our country. Some wanted to get out of the house, maybe away from a bad situation and start a new life, but most where there to serve and protect. You don't become a Marine to work an office job!
At our graduation there were young Marines representing 15 different countries. Wow! That amazed me. They had immigrated to the U.S., become Americans and now where going to fight for her. There was one young man from Nairobi and when asked what he did their in Nairobi he replied "just tried to survive." Then I really understood what America is all about. It's our freedom that others want. Some have risked it all to come to America. The dream to be free and pursue a life of prosperity, to raise their family in safety and practice their religion freely. Most who come here want to be American and their sons and daughters were raised to also love this country and be willing to fight for it. Too bad you don't see that on the news.
Then the Sargent said that 99% of the new Marines had graduated high school and 2 were college graduates, one of those being my son. That made me cry and give thanks. I am so proud (and short about $70 grand) but it was worth it.
Then there are what I will call the spoiled Americans. I saw a lot of them at graduation. Not in the Marines but in their family members, the rude and disrespectful who where born here. Some where even second generation Americans and how quickly they forgot what their grandparents had sacrificed. That made me cry also.
I saw 3 young Hispanic men acting tough and stepping on the parade ground which is sacred. The Marines keep that ground sacred in respect for all the men and women that have lost their lives serving our country and walked on that ground. They are our grandfathers, fathers, sons and neighbors. So you don't step on it, especially if you are a civilian. But these punks were playing a game of Look, I can do anything I want including disrespecting the parade grounds and breaking rules on a very important day. It made me mad. So in typical Melinda fashion, which drives my husband crazy but he wasn't there, I said to them, "Hey, I thought the parade ground was sacred!" to which this lowlife replied "Hey, I did my time," showing me his tattoo that appeared to be done in crayon. So I said. "Then why don't you show it?" At each corner of the parade ground a Marine was stationed and as we walked past the young man I said "Watch these guys - they are disrespecting the parade grounds" to which he said, politely "Ma'am, there are a lot of them here today." My heart sank and again I wanted to cry.
Not every one there had the same emotions I was feeling about their son, husband or brother. But I still saw the best of America standing before us on that sacred parade ground. We are the land of the free and the brave because Americans from many countries have given the lives for her throughout our 233 year history. It's just more precious to some than others.