While on a less traveled road in Montana last weekend we drove past a display of American flags between Joliet and Roberts - far from much of anything. Being September 12, we figured it was in remembrance of 9/11 but then the number of flags caught my husband's attention.
Upon taking a closer look we found 13 flags, their poles embedded in a chunk of log and beneath a sign bearing the name and rank of each of our military killed during the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle. They had solar powered lights to show them off at night.
There was no credit as to who placed them. Other than a business across the highway there was little around for miles. It may have been that business. Or not. What matters is that a group of caring, respectful and caring people paid homage to a group of young patriots who tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives in service to their country.
I had a lot of time, on that little jaunt, to think about a lot of things. That small memorial. The reminiscence of being married to the same man for 52 years and being in good enough health to be able to get away from the world for a quick celebration. What we've witnessed during all those years and even before we merged our lives. And yes, the beauty of total silence, still water and reflection.
For that short but wonderful weekend I remembered so much about what this country has been and hopefully can be again if we will speak up and out for it. Demand it.
All is not lost. The vast and natural beauty of the countryside can still be found if one but looks. And the vast and natural decency of its people, it's everyday hard working people, can still be found if one but looks.
I came home with renewed faith and hope but just in case it isn't to be, I will continue to write about the way it was. Not for the adults who would destroy it, but for the children so they can know what was.