Saturday, August 04, 2012

Patriot Guard Overcomes Hate

I drove down 72nd Street in Omaha today past the Braman Mortuary. As I approached from the north, I saw American flags and wondered what was going on.  The closer I got, I realized that for the first time I got an opportunity to see the Patriot Guard (or Freedom Riders, not sure which group) in action. These men and women stood on the corner with pristine American flags on clean white poles. I glanced down into a parking lot filled with shiny motorcycles.  I couldn't believe that I didn't have my camera, because this is a sight I don't want to forget.

Tears choked me up as soon as I got near enough to realize who I was seeing and they didn't stop any time soon. In fact, even now as I consider the power of that gift they offer, my throat constricts and tears threaten.

The funeral was for an Army veteran and to ensure that the family is guarded from hate-mongers, these men and women freely offer their time.

When I got home, someone had posted that they'd seen picketers at another funeral in Lincoln.  For her, the focus was on the hate that filled those hearts.  That's all she saw as she drove by that funeral. The reason that the Patriot Guard exists is because of that group that is filled with hate and venom.  So, I guess that in the end, even though they intended evil, it has been turned to good.  A group now exists that never would have except for a need that was created by hate.

I was so proud today - for no good reason. I have nothing to do with these men and women and will probably never encounter them as a group in my life.  But, we live in a country that has freedom of expression and one of the greatest things we do with that freedom is to counter evil with goodness.

That will make me emotional every day.