The sign of summer and privilege
Growing up in the North Fork community of Watauga County, our lives in the mountains revolved around the seasons. A blessing of having four distinct seasons was that each one had its own rite of passage. As for summer, one would think that it would be marked by school coming to an end or the long, summer days. Yet, for over 100 years, our community has had its own sign of summer.
Union Baptist Church has honored the servicemen who have served our country by flying a flag over each man's grave. The cemetery, which sits on the hill above our house, raises the flags on the Friday before Memorial Day. When I see the Stars and Stripes flying, I know that summer has arrived.
Flags fly to honor men who served all the way back to the Civil War. There are friends and neighbors, as well as family members like my uncle, Paul Matheson, who served our country in Korea. This year, like clockwork, the flags will once again fly. Their presence serves not only as a reminder that summer is beginning, but more importantly how privileged we are to live in this great country.