I walked my neighborhood today, and didn't see a single flag out.
Back in the Land O'Utes, I know they were fluttering from the front porch or put into the holders on the street in front of almost every house in town.
Here, nada. Nothing. Bland. Blank. Bare.
I was surprised, to be honest. After 9/11, we all sort of looked to New York as the flagship, as it were, of all things patriotic; not only is the Statue of Liberty here, but, Ellis Island, the idea of tenement living, immigrants, melting pots, America. The striking blow against this country, an attack on us, against us, on our land...
Not a single flag did I see.
I wear my My Son is a Marine pin that R gave me. Well, that's what he is, the Jarhead, a Marine. He's an irritated one right now, trapped on an aircraft carrier, when he's a man who likes to be in the open air. He calls the Navy men 'squids' and vows none of them had best come near him when he's back on the solid earth.
Now I know why there was so much tension when HaHa and Oob and I saw the two groups circle each other last Spring during Fleet Week.
The two groups simply grow to ha..strongly dislike each other after months together on the ship.
I think about these young people, serving in the military, especially in this day and time. I've expounded on my feelings there, that the generation I was part of, our disdain for that area of life is gone now, we have softened, changed, grown to understand and accept. Our children have moved into the armed forces, for reasons we don't understand at times, those of us who avoided the draft, or prayed our friends would have high draft numbers, who saw the green cami as a bad colour no matter the season.
Now, they come forward once again, joining for those personal reasons, stepping up, stepping forward, saying the thing you don't want to hear, "Mom, should anything happen, should I not come home, know it's because I was saving a buddy."
I don't cry. I'm the Mother of a Marine. I suck it up.
I think of him, in his dress blues, in his cami's, in his dress tans... my blue eyed son, my darling young one.
And, I accept, it is, indeed, a hard rain that's going to fall.