A Thought by Clyde Lewis

I know we have all been bombarded with everyone pushing their patriotism on everything from collector’s plates, to intolerant country music crooners who find it compulsory to profit from the tragedies and war that we see flash on the nightly news.

I know it’s hard for some of us to love our country. Probably because we remember how it was. Some say it hasn’t changed. I know the spirit tells me that it has.

I don’t know why I am writing this.

Maybe it’s because I have decided that it is time to start believing that the real America will come back. That perhaps it is not too far away. Maybe I have faith that we can all dream the American dream and strive to change those things that are devised to destroy freedom and liberty.

So when the flag is raised and I light my sparklers, snakes and firecrackers. I will look into the glow and I will daydream about my America. What I believe is the real America.

When the flag flies this Fourth of July, I invite you to share my daydream of America.

I have been to Ellis Island and seen the beauty of lady Liberty. I have walked flatlands of the Midwest, hiked the Mountains of the Wasatch and smelled the pine scented air of the forests and felt the ocean spray of the Pacific Northwest.

When I daydream of America these postcards in the mind’s eye will always stand out. The reason is because they will take away the bitterness and division that has extinguished the fierce light in the place where these beautiful things are supposed to spark a light in the darkness.

When I have my daydream of America it will remain in the revolutionary spirit that banishes the shadow of tyranny and blinds the eye of anyone who wishes to destroy my right to dream about my America in any way that I choose.

In my daydream America would not only eliminate enemies that are foreign but they would take the initiative to remove those that are domestic as well.

When I daydream about America I dream about making out in the backseat of an old beater car, going to church, sneaking out in the woodshed with my first beer and smokes, going to drive in movies, and having barbecued burgers, grandma’s potato salad and sweet corn with melted butter. I put the black olives on my fingers and eat them off one by one. I throw the baseball around a bit with my brother and feel the ocean and sand between my toes as I walk with my sister at the seaside.

I think about Chuck wagon breakfasts, three legged races, hometown parades, and old veterans marching by with the colors of my home waving in the breeze.

In my daydream about America I see a country where pride has returned. I daydream about an America that can put away its neurotic obsession with being the world’s policeman. In my daydream of America there would be no alliances with countries that abuse us and threaten us later.

In my daydream of America we will stop badmouthing each other for differing views. In my daydream, no citizen will be silenced for the "common good" or for "national security reasons."

In my daydream of America supporting the troops doesn’t start when war begins. In my daydream of America a young man who chooses not to fight should always get lump in his throat when he shakes the hand of a veteran.

In my daydream of America, the flag would not be trade mark, trinket, or fashion statement.

In my daydream of America people that put flags everywhere including on their dogs would know that the flag represents hardiness, valor, purity, innocence vigilance, perseverance and justice.

In my daydream of America there would be more of the true patriotism and less of the bumper sticker patriotism.

In My daydream of America I will hear the words of my Dad’s favorite American John Wayne:

"Face the Flag of Stars and Bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A Flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you.

Face the Flag, son! Read what's written there,

The history, the progress and the heritage we share.
Our Flag reflects the past, son, but stands for so much more,
And in this Age of Aquarius, it still flies in the fore.
It leads the forward movement, shared by all mankind,

To learn...to love...to live with peace of mind;
To learn the mysteries of space, as well as those of earth;
To love each man for what he is, regardless of his birth;
To live without the fear of reprisal for belief;
To ease the tensions of a world that cries out for relief.

Face the Flag of stars and bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A Flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you.
Face the Flag, son!
Take a good long look.

What you're seeing now can't be found in a history book.
It's the present and the future, son.
It's being written now,
And you're the one to write it,
but the Flag can show you how.

Do you know what it stands for? What its makers meant?
To think...to speak...the privilege of dissent;
To think our leaders might be wrong...
to stand and tell them so.

These are the things that other men
under other flags will never know.

But responsibility...that's the cross that free men must bear,
And if you don't accept that, the freedom isn't there.

 Face the Flag of stars and bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A Flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you.

Face the Flag, son, and face reality.
Our strengths and our freedoms are based in unity.

The flag is but a symbol, son, of the world's greatest nation,
And as long as it keeps flying, there's cause for celebration.

So do what you've got to do, but always keep in mind,
A lot of people believe in peace...
but there are the other kind.

If we want to keep these freedoms,
we may have to fight again.

God forbid, but if we do, let's always fight to win,
For the fate of a loser is futile and it's bare:

No love, no peace...just misery and despair.
Face the Flag, son...and thank God it's still there."

In my daydream of America every star and every stripe has a story. In my daydream everyone has time to stop and listen. In my daydream people have time to stop and bow their heads and pray to the god of their choice.

They can freely open up to the still small voice that assures them that they are in a safe and beautiful place where you have the liberty to tell your story, tell your truth and dream your dream.

Take some time and dream with me. If we all think about the beauty of what we have, perhaps we will consider living to make men free instead of willing ourselves to die for the empty ambitions of ideologues who change dreams into nightmares.

In my daydream of America these words wouldn’t sound so subversive.

Anyone share my daydream of America?

Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.