Harmony

Happy Monday! It's Memorial Day--a day to pay tribute to those in the Armed Forces who have lost their lives. Many of us honor the day through parades and picnics and spending time with loved ones. The Flower Fairies are paying tribute with the card of the week...Harmony! The card was chosen for several reasons...one is hope that our world moves forward in unity and finds peace...a second is that those who have lost loved ones in the military, that they find peace and understanding in the pain of losing someone they love...and third, that those who choose to serve, that their minds be settled and strong, and not suffer from the horrors that they experience. 
I have learned so much from traveling the world, not only about other cultures, but also about myself. Starting when I was 17 and spending a month in Eastern Europe, I learned what being an American feels like (check out my R-E-S-P-E-C-T blog). I've been held in high regards in several countries, been told "Americano, GO HOME!" in another country (this was right after the United States went to war with Iraq), and yet, also told people that I was from Canada in order to be left alone and feel safe. I've had conflictual experiences about being an American...shame of the damage that my fellow Americans have caused in promoting that our way is the right way to do things (yes, it has happened)...embarrassment that other countries see us as our entertainment industry portrays us...and also pride in the help and service we have provided to other countries. Traveling has been a wonderful growing experience for me, and the learning has shaped me in ways formal education can not even touch. I'm blessed to have had the opportunities that I have, and truly appreciate the work that has been done by our Armed Forces to allow me the opportunities to experience other countries. Do you realize that citizens of many countries do not have the free leeway of just going on a vacation in another country like we do, but have to seek permission from their government? And asking doesn't mean automatic approval. Five continents and 27 countries later, I'm always thankful to come home, appreciating who and what our country stands for, and happy to call myself an American! Land of the Free, because of the Brave! Happy Memorial Day everyone!