This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Power Salute

These flags were on the tie I wore on the 4th of July.  In Zambia it was just called Thursday.

In fact there are so many nationalities in Lusaka and in our mission I must try to be more sensitive.  I work with Elder Stewart from Calgary and July 1st was Canada Day and truthfully I didn't even remember that.

But remember, this blog is all about ME, so I will speak for a minute on my tiny perspective about the United States of America.


I know, you think I am just homesick for familiar things, there might be a little truth to that.  However, I have spent several July the 4ths outside of the U.S. and I think it has given me a sharper perspective in this matter.  Surprisingly,  even though I got an undergraduate degree in political science, I recently had an "ah Ha" moment concerning what "rule of law" was all about.  When you visit a third world country you will first notice the traffic.  Five years ago we were in Egypt and the traffic was horrendous.  In Thailand it was the same, but that was forty years ago.  Drivers just drove where they wanted to go in the oncoming lanes, on sidewalks.  If there was room they took it.  They didn't dislike other drivers or the people on sidewalks, they just had an attitude and only cared about themselves OVER any law that got in the way of the end, as they saw it.  Not only does the end justify the means there, but the means to the end is all about self preservation and self promotion over others, instead of obedience to a common law.

President Ezra Taft Benson discussed it when he spoke about "pride".

Surprisingly to me, Zambia is doing pretty well on "rule of law" behavior.  (Still lots of room for improvement.)  The best example and model is still the USA.  It is why we don't kill as many pedestrians, why we don't have fourteen foot walls topped with glass, wire and 240 volts running around it.  It is why we sleep in our beds without worry.  We respect each other and trust each other.  
I hope we never lose that.

After a day of work this is how we spent the 4th of July evening.  No sparklers, or fireworks, but warm friendship and common goals.  I appreciate the folks that take time to do something special.

This was me forty years ago.  I was young, fearless, idealistic and very patriotic.  I spent a lot of time with other guys just like me.  

I often think of the times sitting around with guys in the squadron and talking about the realities of war.  We talked about how well trained we were, how committed we were for our military mission while  sitting on alert with live ordinance and nuclear warheads strapped underneath the airplane.  Several times we would go to our aircraft "no lone zone" and talk about whether we would really drop a nuclear bomb and all the implications that stemmed from such a decision.  I have never been so impressed with the quality of men I flew with and their integrity and loyalty and patriotism and love of the United States.  I am confident that those who serve now still have that love of country and belief in the rule of law that they will always, individually, make right decisions to preserve our great nation.

I took this photo about eight weeks ago and just realized Lady Liberty's arm looks quite straight and holds that torch extremely high, a "power salute" for all that is right and good about America.

So today, I salute America and all she stands for that is good and right.
(Yes, I am a little homesick)

Should you like to discover America, I recommend reading The Book of Mormon.