I woke up Saturday morning figuring It would be a regular day and ready to start my weekend. I was going to knock out my morning 5 mile run and then work on my classic 1962 Lincoln Continental that I had just bought. As I checked up on current events online, I was startled to read that we'd lost some brothers-in-arms in Afghanistan in the pre-dawn hours that morning.
I was shocked and horrified... I felt a deep sorrow in my heart and immediately thought of their valiant and selfless service. I felt I couldn't go on with my day as planned, as if nothing had happened. My heart told me to go outside and wave my American flag. So I did. I walked to the nearest corner and just stood with my flag. I really didn't waive it, I just stood there. Initially I was extremely angry, angry that most passersby looked as if they had no idea why I stood there with my flag. One motorist even yelled, "What are you supposed to be", as if I was making some weird political statement. It was hot, my feet hurt and nobody seemed to care, but then I would remember that I was not there for me but for them. Occasionally a motorist would ask what I was doing. I explained as quickly as I could before their light changed. Many had no idea and were saddened with the news.
The day went on, after many hours people started to approach in curiosity and after learning of the tragedy would offer to buy me water or chips.
One women in particular stopped and asked why I was there all alone, I answered "Because I didn't plan this, I just did it". I told her I was a veteran and she hugged me. She went on to say how she was an immigrant to this country and how she loved this land. She had to leave but said she would return later with friends to stand vigil with me.
Within an hour or so I had a few of her friends standing with me, a while later some others came as well. It was amazing, by evening I had 20 or so people who I'd never met standing with me in solidarity. The media eventually showed up and interviewed me and it aired that night on local news. The lady returned with tears in her eyes and with even more friends. She turned out to be from Congressman Rohrabacher's office and had a large network of patriotic friends. We cheered and yelled in pride for our departed heroes. Many cars honked and a few even waived their flags, why they had flags readily available I didn't know, but they did. It was a fitting vigil for our Warriors and I'm sure they were looking down from heaven with appreciation.
It was not about me. It was about those brave Navy Seals and US Special Forces who gave their lives so that you and I could continue to go about our daily lives in peace and freedom.