Honoring extraordinary but ordinary Americans
by Caroline Laster
Jul 06, 2014 | 689 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the Fourth of July just a memory, I have been thinking about the people who made this country what it is. Our forefathers have been raised to the highest level of respect in our history books, as they should be. But if you think about it, these men were ordinary people just like you and me. They had families, homes and problems just as we do now.

Think about Thomas Jefferson having problems with his children or out in the barn trying to figure out what is wrong with an animal. He probably even fussed because he had a button missing on his suit. He was human just like us. He just rose to the occasion and stood up for what he felt was right for this country.

Or how about Abraham Lincoln, he grew up poor and as he became a man he had to do ordinary things that we do. I’m sure he played outside, went to school and had fun with his friends. He had a family and a son that died. A tragedy we see for many today. He stood up for what was right for this country and for that we hold him in great esteem.

My mother adored John F. Kennedy. She thought he was the cat’s meow. She remembers as others do, exactly what she was doing when he was shot. But he too was an ordinary person who liked to do ordinary things. He had a big family. They played football, enjoyed sailing and having family gatherings. He had small kids in The White House.

We’ve all seen the photos of JFK Jr. under the desk in the oval office. They probably had been playing under that desk. When President Kennedy got tired of playing, don’t you think he became frustrated if they wouldn’t come out from under his desk? He was like any other daddy. He too stood firm for our country.

And then there is the King Family. Don’t you imagined that Martin Luther King sat at his dinner table and listened to the funny stories about what his kids had done that day at school. His wife probably even told him about her everyday household duties. He had to think about who was to mow the lawn and when the car needed to be serviced. But he did have a dream and with it, he stood up for the rights of human beings so that we could all be equal. He stood his ground.

There are others, millions of others who are your everyday ordinary Americans who stood up and fought whatever enemies might be threatening our country’s welfare or even the world. These soldiers, doctors, nurses, and reporters fought in horrible situations. Some came home and others fell for our freedom. They had families too. Children, spouses and parents who loved them and took care of them. The sacrifice was made by all of these including the families so that our country could stay the great nation that it is.

My grandfather was in the U.S. Army and he went overseas in World War II. He saw and did things over there that he never talked about. He was a simple man. He worked and took care of his family. Big Daddy, as we called him, left his family to do what was right for his country. The family sacrificed without him. There was a store and farm to take care of as well as his wife, kids and extended family.

Big Daddy was an ordinary man, just like Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy and King. He helped his country in the best way he knew. He and those millions of others may not have made the history books but they are as important to it as anyone. They did their jobs in a quiet manner. Our soldiers came home from a hellish place and tried to put it all behind them to move on with their life.

So I celebrated this holiday with food and fun but my heart goes out to everyone from the most miniscule person to our great leaders and forefathers. Together they all made a difference in our lives, nation and freedoms.