In the week after our midterm elections, I turned on the television to watch my beloved Seahawks football team play the Buccaneers in Munich, Germany. At the beginning of the game, members of the armed services unfurled a huge American flag and held it above the field, making it ripple in waves. And then a Black servicewoman stepped up to the microphone and sang our national anthem. I found myself singing along with her: “…o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave…” and, for the first time in a long time, I felt the truth of those words. My country has been through a lot in the last six years – the biggest trauma being the day of the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021. But this week it feels, for me, like my country is finally rising from the ashes of that horrible day.
Later in the game, when the German members of the crowd in the stadium joined voices to sing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” tears filled my eyes.
It feels good to be an American again.
(The photo below is of Sean and his daughter, Imani, taken by me at a local 2013 Fourth of July footrace – it just feels like it belongs here.)