February 21, 2008

The other day I got to witness the birth of a newly independent nation on the other side of the Earth when Kosovo announced its independence from Serbia and the parades and celebrations of its people filled the streets. The images of the joy and celebration were especially touching. To be able to see and share in the excitement of that population’s first taste of liberty after fighting for it so long for it allowed me to live in a small way what is so deeply important to our character as a people.

Watching the news on the television and seeing the large colorful photographs on the front pages of the newspapers for the next couple of days brought hope for the young democracy moving to the brighter future they have longer for and a reminiscence of our own history fighting for what is right and free. The images brought to mind old photographs of the celebrations within this nation after fighting for what was most precious to Americans in wars such as World War I and World War II.

The images of Kosovo’s celebrating were very bright and filled with red both on television and in the headlines. The red came from the flags being waved: the flag of their providence, their new nation and of the United States. It brought me warmth and peace to see our flags being waved by the hands of those excited and newly free people. At a time when the world seems to be against America it is nice to see our flag is still cherished by those who truly love freedom and

justice, by those who fully understand

the value of it having lived without it.

The headline that was my favorite was the one announcing America’s support for the new nation proving that America remains a friend to those who value freedom and is willing to defend those friends. The day we are no longer friends to those and are unwilling to defend them is the day we cease to be America. O’ we may still be The United States of America and we may still be called “Americans” but we would no longer truly be Americans.