I have a confession to make: It’s not often that I get patriotic.

Trite as it sounds, my first loyalty is that of a child of God, not bound to any nation. Disillusioned by the political process and disgusted by the prevailing culture, I just don’t feel a swelling patriotism in the everyday course of life.

But Memorial Day gets me every year. Whatever your feelings on war and the military, how can you help getting choked up by the thought of the men and women who have given it all? How can you help feeling stirred by the presence of those who have chosen to serve their fellow countrymen?

And however much you may detest war, military aircraft are just cool.

I mean, really. Up close and personal with a Harrier? Awesome.

And then there is the Memorial Day parade—in our town, one of the only parades worth attending. It is all the best of small town America, expanded to the dimensions of a small city.

The "screaming eagles" parachute in to start the parade

But this is what I spent the parade staring up at. With or without the aircraft buzzing by, I couldn’t stop watching the lazy dance of this flag stretching and rolling on the breeze.

And sharing it all with my firstborn?

That just makes it all the sweeter.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats Sweet Shot Day