This morning, a friend of mine sent me this you tube video which features three women, Carmen, Elaine and Joanne in Freeport, Maine who started something in response to 9/11 and haven’t stopped since. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV4CF2kuDCo
Freedom’s Feast started too in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Just like these women, I felt the need to do something to help rebuild the spirit of our country, to reaffirm our essential purpose and values and pass on vital lessons to our next generation of citizens. With the help of many wonderful advisors and institutional partners, we haven’t stopped since.
When these wonderful Freeport citizens took the flag in person to the street of their community, they made a powerful statement. “We stand with you and this symbol of what our country represents.” When the "Freeport Flag Ladies" decided to come back the next week and the week after that and the months and years after that, they said something even more profound: “Our commitment as citizens is unassailable. It endures regardless of weather, illness, inconvenience.” They’ve carried that message to schools, churches,community centers, airports—wherever Americans gathered and needed that inspiration.
I don’t know what their personal politics are and don’t want to know. These women come from Maine and are likely fiercely independent. What I admire is their commitment, determination and decision to do something that they thought would make a difference at a time when they believed something needed to be done.
On this Independence Day 2013, I'd like to celebrate that about us. We follow a long and honorable tradition of ordinary citizens seeing what needs to be done and doing it. We pick up the flag and we carry it.