Week of July 15th
Devotion from Melanie Beauston
I certainly don’t expect this* to become your study Bible, but I immediately thought of you when it bumped into me online, figuratively speaking of course, and so I bought it as a Christmas gift for you.
Without even knowing it, I feel sure, you taught me to love our great country from a very early age. I remember being pretty young when I first learned of your military service to our country—indeed, my country!—during your few years in Korea. Though you were not on the front lines and were very rarely in harm’s way, you were strategically, logistically making it safer and easier for those who were! I first learned to be a patriot by recognizing at a young age that it was no small thing to have a daddy who once served America overseas.
I also learned what it means to be a patriot during my early years as a student by saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our great country every school morning. I remember in days gone by how repetitive and meaningless it seemed after a while, but I guess that stance would predictably stream from a child’s point of view.
Then there were those times I heard you singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at one event or another. I could clearly hear the patriotic pride in your voice, Daddy, and it genuinely touched me over and over. I’ve often thought it would be really cool to pinpoint the age at which I learned all the words—to the first verse anyway.
On September 11, 2001, when all our lives were evermore changed, and even more importantly our children’s lives changed, I vowed to sing the National Anthem whenever and wherever I heard it being played. And I have stayed true to that commitment, even though I find myself singing a quiet solo the majority of the time, always dropping down low when it gets too hard for a diehard alto to sing that high and still be able to take her next breath!
I can remember the deep sense of awe I felt back in July of 1989 when Bob and I saw Yellowstone for the first time. My sense of American patriotism was aroused in a new way when I thought that week about our government’s establishing the National Parks System by creating the Department of the Interior and appointing a Secretary of the Interior. To ponder the reality that our leaders at that time saw the importance of preserving for future generations the awe-inspiring beauty of our country’s most astounding treasures was a humbling thought.
Then fast forward more than a decade. Given Mark Sanford’s despicable immoralities in the not-too-distant past, it would be easy to regret having made the huge effort to attend his inauguration—largely for Casey’s and Danae’s benefit, but not entirely! However, I like to think that that day’s happenings constitute one of hundreds of memories they will take with them, and perhaps give them a deeper understanding of and respect for our government—deeply flawed though it is—as they develop over time their own sense of patriotism.
Given the fact that there is very little real leadership in Washington today, particularly at the federal level, I have literally mourned not only for our children but for the hundreds of thousands of other children across this nation who will fraudulently be dealt a much different America than the one in which you and Mama raised Martha, Frank, and myself, and certainly the one in which your parents were raised and in turn raised you. Honestly, if I didn’t know in the deepest depths of my heart Who is ultimately overseeing this charade, I would be at a loss to teach Casey and Danae how to have genuine hope for their own future in a culture so far removed from God’s ways. Hopefully, the next chapter in their young lives will be to witness our dangerously irresponsible president being voted out of office before the year 2012 is up!
Still, I take great pride in living in what will always be the greatest nation in the world. In spite of what our enemies think, in spite of what our enemies attempt, and in spite of what our enemies succeed at that lessens the effectiveness of the United States at the global level, America is still literally the land of the free and the home of the brave! Were it not for the sense of patriotism and respect for America that you have instilled in me throughout my life, I seriously doubt I would hold the same convictions that are a part of who I am—as a person, a woman, a wife and mother, a committed Christian, and a committed American.
Thank you for the blessed and priceless gift of American Patriotism that you have passed on to me, Daddy. I will treasure it and nurture it always, and I pray God’s richest blessings for you and Mama, my favorite Americans, in the months and years ahead!
*The Bible I purchased was called The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America by Thomas
Nelson and Richard Lee, released online May 3, 2009.