It’s not unusual for we Americans to reflect on our country’s values around certain holidays- 4th of July, Memorial Day, maybe Election Day. The Questionable Authority found inspiration at a most unusual time and place- a Hawaiian luau.
(T)hey close the luau by recognizing and thanking the veterans of the various wars for their service, then by recognizing those who are currently in the service. The final song is a stirring rendition of Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American, complete with a standing audience and candles.
Usually (we’ve taken family to this luau a few times now) I more or less blow off the conclusion. I mean, I stand and sing with everyone else, but it isn’t exactly what I’d call a thought-provoking moment. Last night was different.
Last night, I started out by thinking about what I could do to show my pride in this country, and what I could do to defend America and American Values. I tried to join the military some years back, but was medically disqualified, so that was out, but I was still feeling a bit guilty. My wife is on active duty, and does her part, but what do I do? What could I do? Then, as I thought about the last verse of the song, it came to me:
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
In a sudden moment of clarity, I realized that there was something I could do, even if it wasn’t much, to do my part to defend the things that this country stands for.
I went home, went online, and joined the ACLU.
Because freedom can’t protect itself.