It’s a bright, crisp desert morning. The cloudless sky above is crystal blue and the breeze smells of sage and mesquite. I am at Heritage Park, high above the Las Vegas strip to celebrate the athletic skills of a very dear friend. Nick is 13 years old and plays a great game of lacrosse. We love his family as if they were our own. There are, at this sports complex, about a dozen fields of play from football to baseball and lacrosse. This morning there are a thousand plus young boys and girls all warming up caught between their desire to play ball and their thoughts of their cozy warm beds. It is 7:45 am and the temperature is a brisk 55 degrees. Coaches are preaching and coaching and the youth of America are listening and practicing in preparation for the games to come.
At 7:55am the P.A. system crackles and a ladies voice welcomes everyone to the games and then requests that we stand for the playing of our national anthem. I am of an age where I instantly rise, face the flag and, hand over heart, begin to simultaneously sing and get goose pimples. So do most of the kids on the field in front of me. I’m impressed. The only ones who do not are the unfortunate offspring of parents, and coaches, who never miss a beat with their laughing and carrying on during our national anthem. Kids live what we model… If our nation (and our politicians) are not what you remember or what you wish they might be… Take a moment to look in your mirror and ask yourself, just what sort of a patriot model am I?
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