Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Silent Patriotism

Walking into work yesterday, a different thing happened.

For apparently no reason at all, the man walking next to me stopped, took his hat off, came to attention and put his hand over his heart.

He stood there silent for a few moments looking at the huge American Flag which flys in front of the building. It was waving in the breeze.

I wondered why he stopped and stood there--and I never asked.

But I sensed it was a personal reminder to himself of why we all should be going into the building I work in every morning--from our oath of office is says it simplest: "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter so help me God."

We do not work for ourselves--but for the people of the United States.

As I reread the oath, I was struck by the words--"well and faithfully" which are a powerful charge. We can be asked to do no more than well and faithfully. We are asked to make many decisions, but if we are faithful in our decisions and make them to our best capability--that is what we are asked to to.

The flag waving in the breeze caught my eye, too. I look at it every morning on my way in and on my way out. I always causes me to smile and to remember there is such a thing as a greater good and a country of brave people who are willing, when called, to defend freedom around the planet. I am often reminded of the feeling I get when I am in a foreign land--and I come upon the Stars and Stripes waving proudly in the breeze. It makes me proud to be American.

I will think of the flag differently each morning now as I walk across the parking lot. I will remember my solemn duty and continue to strive to achieve "well and faithfully" in every thing I do.

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