I am one of the minority of people in the internet who don’t come from the States! That in itself is a strange thing, not least because many Americans don’t seem to understand that we exist.
Nevertheless, here we all are, the loud minority.
Today I wandered over to www.letssaythanks.com, where you can send a card to the troops out in Iraq or (I presume) Afghanistan. I wanted to send a message to someone in the services to let them know that there’s people outside of the US who appreciate and understand what they’re doing. I was struck once again, however, with how different the US is to other countries. For a start, every card had a picture of the Stars and Stripes in one form or another.
When I was first in the States, studying at University of Illinois (where, incidentally, I got converted – hi Rob and Chris), I first noticed this phenomenon. The flag was a pretty universal symbol that Americans could get behind. Back home in the UK we have no such symbol. You might think that the monarchy would serve that same purpose but you need to understand that we’re nowhere near as universally supportive of what the monarchy stands for as we are as Americans seem to be for what the flag stands for.
The Second thing I noticed all those years ago is the much more public level of awareness of the military there is. So, pretty much everyone knows who the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is and so on. Again, back home I bet you no-one could even tell you who the Minister for Defence is.
Anyway, I chose this card…
courtesy of Elizabeth who was 10 when she drew it in Silver Spring, MD (which I assume is Maryland).
And this is what I wrote:
Just to let you know that there are many outside the States who are thinking of you all at this time. Our prayers for your safety and success are with you.
David Ould (dot net)
It’s a tough job that our armed services have. No matter what you think of the politics of the matter there are young men (and, I presume, women) out there who would much rather be home but are doing their best and, as they understand it, their duty. We can all, at least, pray for their safety and that God will use them as He will.