A number of years ago General Colin Powell attended a meeting with many international dignitaries also in attendance. Allegedly, the Archbishop of Canterbury approached Powell questioning him about America's plans for Iraq as just some sort of "empire building" by President Bush. General Powell answered this way, "Your excellency, over the years the United States has sent many fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. And the only amount of land we have asked for in return was enough to bury those fine young men and women who did not return to America." Everyone in the room stopped. You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French Admiral suddenly complained, "Where as Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English." He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?" Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German." You could have heard a pin drop.
A group of Americans, retired teachers, traveled to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on bag. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready." The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it." "Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France," the French Customs Officer said. Mr. Whiting gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach On D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any damn Frenchmen to show it to." You could have heard a pin drop.
As I close today, I am reminded of all those Redneck jokes we've heard over the years. Maybe it's time to reflect and look at a few of the core beliefs of a culture that values home, family, country and of course, God. Rednecks are what America is all about. So, you just might be a redneck if...
...you still say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."
...you've never protested about seeing the "10 Commandments" posted in public places.
...you respect your elders and expect your kids and grandkids to do the same.
...you'd give your last dollar to a friend in need.
...you stand and place your hand over your heart whenever you hear them play the National Anthem.
...you treat ALL VETERANS with the utmost respect and always will. And you teach your children to do the same.
...you've never burned and American Flag.
Happy Birthday America and God bless The United States of America.
Let me hear your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319.327.4640.
Next week, we're gonna continue this theme by answering the question, "What Exactly Is An American?" You won't want to miss this!!
Have a great 4th of July weekend and be safe!!