This year I've really been drawn to reading historical biographies about World War II... just like my dad. :) I read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (SO SO SO AMAZING), the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (touching, sincere, beautiful), and Lost in Shangri-La (fun read). The first book, in particular, has made me swell with patriotism ever since I've put it down. I don't think we as a country (myself included) really understand the sacrifices, the lives, and the battles it took for us to be here today.
An unfortunate example that I can't get out of my head: This weekend at the Independence Day parade, the little float carrying the veterans passed by. These little old men with their uniforms have my heart because of these stories I've read about men just like them. I love them. Next to us on the curbside were two boys, maybe 9 and 10 years old. "GIVE US CANDY!!!" they shouted to the old men. "CANDYYYYY!!!" and demanding so on and so forth. The old men just smiled half-heartedly, they didn't have any candy on their float.
25,000 casualties in the Revolutionary War. 600,000 casualties in the Civil War. 110,000 from WWI and 405,000 from WWII. You have the opportunity to respect a soldier and survivor of war... and you are SCREAMING AT THEM FOR CANDY.
What. Is. Wrong. WITH. YOU. You disrespectful children. I was so angry and heartbroken. Don't they understand THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS HOLIDAY. Though I do love the festivities of the Fourth, I haven't felt the same about it since coming to a better understanding of our history. I don't expect everyone to cry during the fireworks (..maybe I did), but I believe the holiday does deserve some degree of respect, reverence, and gratitude to those who have fought for our freedom. Happy birthday America, I love you so very much.
These images are from our Fourth of July in Menan, Idaho. Population 700. :) It was the most perfectly perfect tiny town to celebrate in. Our friend's grandparents have a farm in Menan and I loved every second of our day spent there. I love Idaho and grandparents and farms and flags and parades with miniature horses and America so so so much.