It’s Election Day for Americans. We’ve listened and watched as the candidates gave their spiel repeatedly on TV, radio commercials, through internet and newspaper reviews nonstop for the last 2 years.
By now, near sundown, I would venture to say most have cast their vote and maybe most 2 years ago already knew for whom they would vote.
Americans, we are a curious lot with our mixture of beliefs, passions, love of freedom and country. Though weary sometimes of the process, we wouldn’t trade anything for the right to vote and honor it as a privileged part of our heritage.
I remember the year I turned 21 and was eligible to vote for the first time. It was memorable to me because of our location and the time in history. Our country was still fighting the Viet Nam War and my husband and I, stationed in the Air Force, lived in a small town in Virginia. Instead of base housing, we rented an upper-story vacant, southern house surrounded by a network of corn and potato fields and miles of country roads.
It was a slower pace of living, far from the big cities and traffic lights. A mile from our house was an old-style country store along one of those back roads. It looked as if it had been an old farm-house at one time with wooden steps going up an old porch leading to a weathered screen door on the front. It was the local polling place.
My husband being in the military had already cast his absentee ballot and accompanied me up the steps to inquire about voting where there was an old man cutting a child’s hair. Yes, this is where I was to vote and I truly didn’t know what to expect. It’s a little difficult to paint this picture, as I felt as if I had been transported to an era 40 years prior.
We stepped inside surprised to see a lot of people. They were picking up a few groceries and voting at the same time. I got in line with the others to get my paper ballot, then moved on to find my spot at one of the few counters spread throughout the store, write in my vote and deposit it in a big box by the cash register. There was nothing fancy or commercial, just simple and warm exercising my God-given freedom.
No matter what party you’re affiliated with or what candidate you chose, I hope you voted today and maybe stopped for a moment to feel the love in your heart for this great country and the many people who have fought and are still fighting for it ~~ Thank you!
“American the Beautiful” – Ray Charles