Friday, July 25, 2008
My America... crossing the U.S. / Mexico Border
Our little family left early on a dark, cool, Mexican morning to begin our journey back to visit our home; our America. The drive was without incident and my husband had done all the necessary homework to know what bridge we wanted to cross to get home. As we neared the border the road signs that directed us to the international bridges were vague and we had to make a split decision - that decision took us to the wrong bridge. The bridge we were approaching was for commercial traffic only; as we approached the bridge one of the Mexican authorities waved our car off to a turn-around and kindly explained where we needed to go.
As we turned the car around to find the correct bridge I heard one of our children say, "But isn't that America? Right there?" pointing toward the U.S.A. My husband and I explained that we had to go to the correct bridge and off we went... When we finally approached the correct bridge all was quiet as we drove through the check-points with Mexican military armed with semi-automatic weapons. The quiet in our car was amazing and I realized that my children no longer pointed out the fact that we are so alarmingly close to semi-automatic guns. It bothers me a bit that they have gotten used to seeing weapons in their casual, daily lives. We pass through the Mexican inspection and advance toward the bridge spanning the 'Rio Grande'.
One of my children yells excitedly, "There it is! There's the flag!" and I look up with the rest of our family and see the flag beckoning us as we drive home. The U.S. checkpoints were more thorough and we stopped to answer numerous questions - as a Border patrol agent asked me a question my eyes teared up as I tried to speak. He kindly smiled and said, "I understand"; because he realized that I wasn't looking at him - I was looking at the American flag. For that moment it didn't matter that I was from Massachusetts, my husband was from Texas we had child born in another state; it didn't matter whether we were Democrats or Republicans. In that instant we were all Americans and we were being welcomed back to a land that we had taken for granted; a land that we have now grown to love with a ferocity that surprises me.
I don't know that I will ever see the flag of the United States again without thinking of that moment and of all that I have taken for granted. But, I have no question that "This is my country; Land that I love". God Bless America!