I AM DEDICATING THIS SHORT STORY TO ONE OF POETRY POEMS DEVOTED
PATRIOT AND A MAN WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY WITH PRIDE AND IN HONOR
OF THIS COUNTRY HE LOVES. AFTER SERVING IN THE MILITARY, HE COMES
HOME KNOWING THAT HE GAVE HIS ALL. HE AND HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS ARE
STILL FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS TO LIVE FREE AND CONTENTED IN THIS
COUNTRY THEY FOUGHT FOR.
HE HAS WRITTEN IN POETRY OF HIS EXPERIENCES AND HOW HE AND OTHERS
ARE FIGHTING THE GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR RIGHTS. EVEN HERE, HE HAS BEEN
ATTACKED FOR EXPRESSING HIS OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES; AND THERE HAVE
BEEN THOSE WHO HAVE GONE AS FAR AS TO CALL HIM A LIAR. STILL HE STANDS
TALL AND STRONG AS HE EXPRESSES HIS LOVE FOR THIS COUNTRY!
ENOUGH SAID BY ME, EXCEPT I SALUTE THIS MAN BY DEDICATING THIS SHORT
STORY TO A DEVOTED POET, FRIEND AND PATRIOT THAT I RECONIZE AS A HERO.
"MR. TERRY SASEK" AKA "ALWAYS A WARRIOR"
JULY 4TH, INDEPENDENCE DAY
and the Parade is just about ready to start...
Seated outside on their porch, in their white wicker rocking chairs,
watching the neighbors and some strangers setting up chairs and
blankets down along the street that runs north and south in front
of their house. The old couple gets a thrill out of the day in more
ways than one. Kids running and screaming, and here comes little
Nicky Jones, screaming at the top of his lungs for the others to wait
for him to catch up. The old couple has watched the same old thing
every single year since 1946. Only the faces, and with the changing
of America's melting pot; different nationalities.
Someone about twenty blocks up the street has echoed down that
they can see that the parade has started. That's when the action
down on the street gets in high gear. Kids yelling, they have to go to
the bathroom. You hear mothers and fathers yelling for the kids to
run back to the house and take care of their business and get back
here or they're not going to save their spots. Coming up the walk-
way are three teenage girls dressed in red, white and blue with every
kind of trinket that represents the Forth of July. If it blinks, moves
creates a noise, then each girl is a walking time capsule. One teen
asks, "Would you allow us to sit on your walkway steps over there?
It's a better place to watch the parade, plus the little kids annoy us
all the time." The old couple looked at each other, smiled; with the
old woman making it clear that what ever mess they make better be
cleaned up after wards. Giggling like the school girls they certainly are,
agreed. With three thank yous they head down to their viewing perch
to watch the parade.
Here come street vendors selling food and toys on sticks, and every
kids favorite, balloons and cotton candy. The old man waved for the
cotton candy seller to come over. The old woman looked at the old
man and said, "Don't you get me started on the sweets, you old fool!"
He said with a straight face, "It's not for you, it for the girls." The
vendor delivered the treats and the girls yelled in delight, "Thank You".
The old woman looked at her hubby and said, "That's why I love you."
Just then coming in from the back yard and walking up the walkway
beside the house were several of their old friends from the VFW Club.
"Lord", mumbled the old woman, "They make more noise than those
teenagers." It really didn't matter though, they all served together in
WWII. Many of their friends didn't make it back home. These soldiers
and nurses have remained the closest of friends since. All their lives
have been filled with children, grand-children and a few great grand-
children. Proving that life goes on and on. After the hellos, hugs and
the kisses, it was time to get settled so they can watch the parade.
Everyone of them has a family member in a high school band or a drill
team or one of their friends holding an Office in the Government. The
parade has started and nearing their street. It's always the same old
thing year after year, but it doesn't matter, its the Forth of July,
a day of celebration for it's Independence Day. Each of these men and
women have feelings of what this day means to them. Regardless of how
it's expressed, the meaning holds the same emotion.
"Well, what is this all about guys?" said a friend on the porch. It was
a Local and National News Team covering the days events and activities
as well as the parade. "Good day one and all. You all look like the
Essenes of Patriotic!". said the Newsman. Joyfully the group of friends
started to talk all at the same time. "Would you be interested in being
interviewed for the evening news?. We'd like to ask each of you, What
does this day mean to you?" explained the reporter. They all agreed
and the reporter wanted to do it over the parade action. The personnel
set up the interviewing area with lights and light-filters. Just on time,
for the parade was just about in front of their house. The old couple
was being interviewed first;
The old woman was asked about Fireworks during the celebration,
"The Forth of July is so much more than Fireworks,
Oh! So much more! It is a Spirit of Thankfulness
and Acknowledgment of what Liberty truly means.
A staggering reminder to Never, Ever Take It For Granted!"
Then the old man was asked what the Fourth of July Celebration proved?
"July 4Th Celebration proves to the World that NO TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION or IDEOLOGICAL EXTREMIST can break the
UNITY and WILL of OUR MULTI-NATIONAL COUNTRY.
Independence Day has come to signify that America embraces
ALL World Races, Religions and Cultures!"
The reporter expressed his gratitude and told the old couple how dynamic
their statements were. He then asked them who he should interview next
that would give an equal, if not a more dynamic statement? They pointed
out their brother-in-law, Robert. He had lost several good friends and his
sister. The old couple told Robert he was next to be interviewed for the
evening news. "Hello Sir, Robert is your name?, said the reporter. I'd like
to know, What does this holiday and other Patriotic Celebrations mean to
Robert took a deep breath and spoke his mind into the camera:
"As a child, patriotism was pervasive in my New England home.
I knew from an early time that days such as Memorial Day,
Independence Day and Veteran's Day were not just days to
picnic and have fun. It was instilled in me, by example, by this
quiet and proud WWII vet, that we must care for all our service
personnel EVERY day. My dad lived by that theme, helping all
people everyday, as a citizen, veteran, husband, dad and mail
carrier. So now, I don't mind if people see me wearing my
Patriotism on my sleeve each day, I proudly stand and teach my
students to salute the Flag each day before our lessons begin.
I did when I was in elementary school. Then some high and
mighty unpatriotic son-of-a-gun had it removed from ALL schools.
We work together to make each person in the classroom's live
a little easier, and when one of America's special holiday's comes
near I make sure I pass it on to this new generation of children,
how important our beliefs in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
is each and everyday! The students ask, Why do I shed a tear now
and then during the Flag Salute...my response...I'm thinking of all
the men and women who died, so I can have the Freedom to stand
and openly Salute Our Flag of The United States of America."
"One more thing I would like to add, if you don't mind;
There are NO WORDS that can set my heart a fire like these words
(AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL)
"Oh beautiful for Heroes proved
In Liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life."
"I hear these words and they hit me right in my heart. My chest
tightens up, a pit forms in my stomach and my throat clinches.
The words to that second verse touches me like no other and
reminds me of the sacrifice of good men and women who serve
in the military."
"CUT! That's a wrap everyone. Thank You Robert, thank you very much
for your statement, I believe everyone will want to stand up and salute
the country's Flag as well as saluting you kind Sir! That was remarkable.
Robert then said, "No Sir, That's love for my country and for those
that gave their lives."