Pride In America

Do you find it hard to be proud of America?  Like all other nations it isn’t a perfect country.  As a stimulus to your pride, consider the Iwo Jima statue.  A friend shared some of these insights.

How could any American stand before the memorial in Washington depicting the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima and not have pride?  Those six boys, and they were boys, that raised that flag typify all American youth who have kept us free. As a result of our national TV ministry, I corresponded with one of those heroic boys in his latter years.

John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin, typified those six after the war.  He would never give an interview.  Bradley was a medic who held over 200 boys as they writhed in pain and screamed as they died without medication to midigate their pain.

Harlon Block, high school all-state football player, was the first to put the pole in the ground.  At the age of 21, Harlon died holding his intestines in his hand.

Rene Gagon was an 18 year old from New Hampshire who kept a picture of his girlfriend in his helmet.

Sgt. Mike Shank was known by his colleagues as “the old man”.  He was 24.  He was known for saying, “Let’s die for our country.”

Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona, was one of the few who walked off Iwo.  President Truman called him a hero.  Ira said, “How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?”

Franklin Sousley was a fun-loving country boy from Hilltop, KY.  Franklin died at the age of 19.

Consider this in light of our Iraq casualties.  Over 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima.  Those who walked off never tolerated themselves being called heroes.  They considered those who didn’t walk off the real heroes.

Three of the six depicted as raising the flag were among those who didn’t walk off Iwo.

It might offend Michelle if she took a close look at that statue of the flag raising by those 6 boys.  A close look reveals there were thirteen hands on the flag staff, not twelve.  when asked about it, the person responsible for the statue said the thirteenth hand was the hand of God.  Deal with that you history revisionists!

I was the interim pastor of Lee Greenwood for a year.  He has one song that is his signature achievement, “God Bless the USA”.  In that song are lines that we should all sing with gratitude for these 6 boys and the thousands like them.

“I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave they right to me”

There is a bumper sticker that reads: “America, she ain’t perfect, but God ain’t through with her yet.”

Pride should produce gratitude that should solicit a commitment to helping make America a more perfect union.