As I prepare for the upcoming Fourth of July Independence Day Celebration, I am reminded of the National 9-11 flag. The flag is of symbol of our country’s strength and ability to overcome hardship, but it is also a beautiful demonstration of the character of individual “ordinary” Americans in their desire to support each other in healing.
This massive flag was flown over the wreckage of the World Trade Centers–something of enormous significance to New Yorkers. In a tattered state, it was lovingly stitched back together by the residents of Greensburg, Kansas. This little town sustained massive damage in a tornado a few Mays ago. Greensburg has special resonance for me, as my maternal grandmother Mee-Maw spent part of her childhood in the farming community. I have spent a little bit of time there, primarily at family funerals. But I knowthe people who live there. They are “simple” by our “sophisticated” NYC standards. This is rural America, where the economy is still powered by family-owned farms. Indeed, my grandmother’s family had a farm where they grew wheat in Greensburg. These are the quiet people who you can count on to do the right thing, even when no one is looking, as they say. So the folks in Greensburg took on this historic project, mending the flag, while mending hearts along the way.