June 14

Lord, you have poured out amazing blessings on this land! . . . —Psalm 85:1(TLB)

Like many "proud to be an American" citizens, I have always had the utmost respect and devotion to the American flag. Old Glory flew on the front porch of my childhood home in Rock Falls, Illinois, on every holiday and on top of my dad's pontoon boat that cruised the Rock River for many years.

In my own home I have a sturdy nylon three-by-five-foot American flag that I fly proudly near my front door on every holiday and on days when I just feel like hollering from the rooftops that it's great to be an American, like the days when my grandchildren were born, or the day my friend won a cruise and invited me to go along.

My son Michael attended the University of Wisconsin, a school known as "the Berkeley of the Midwest," where students often find something to protest. In January 1991, during the Gulf War, a group of students decided to march down one of the campus's main streets. At one point, they stopped and set an American flag on fire. Michael heard the commotion from his dorm room and followed the crowd to the burning flag. As a proud member of the National Guard Band, an organization he joined at age seventeen to help pay his way through college, he quickly pushed his way to the center of the crowd where the flag was burning and stomped it out. The protesters were furious, jeering and shouting insults. Finally, the police arrived, and Michael was quickly whisked away in a squad car. "For your own protection, son," one officer explained as Michael was driven back to his dorm by a couple of officers who were no doubt proud that the young college student had defended his flag.

Here's to all the red-white-and-blue days in our lives. May Old Glory remind us to cherish our American citizenship every day, not just on Flag Day.

Father, thank You for allowing me to be born in a country where freedom of government, religion and speech—including the right to protest—reign supreme. Help me to appreciate the freedom our flag represents.

—Patricia Lorenz