With the 4th of July coming soon made me think of a article I saw a while back. Written by Larry Leitzke.
Back in the twenties we had telephone and electricity, but no radio. After supper on the long winter nights, I would wait for my dad to come in from the barn. He would lie down on our leather couch and I would crawl up and sit on the edge of the couch and he would tell me stories. He always made the honest man seem like such a winner, no matter what the trial or temptation. He would say "Don't judge any man whether he be Republican, or Democrat, Jew, Catholic or Protestant, as all were Americans".
Then I asked, "Is America our president?" "No", he said. "Our president is Calvin Coolidge." But Presidents come and go and we have a man we look at as a nation. He is like a walking Statue of Liberty. We call him Uncle Sam. I guess this is what put my story in motion. It was in the Spring of 1927.
We were living near a small town with a park that was used once a year and that was for the Fourth of July. Each year at noon on the TH of July there would be a parade, to start the celebration. Leading the parade was this beautiful white horse with stars alongside of the bridle and a saddle blanket of red and white stripes. Riding the horse was a thin, but strong looking man of at least six foot four, wearing a high hat with a band of stars and a beautiful suit. I asked my dad "Who is the man?" and he said, "That, my son is Uncle Sam." After the parade I'll introduce you to him".
An hour later at the park, Dad took my hand and we walked over to a tree where he and his horse were standing. "This", he said, "is Uncle Sam." Tall as he was, he reached down and shook my hand. I know that shaking the hand of the President today would never mean as much.
It wasn't long after on a Sunday we had company and as they came into the house, the man said "Do you recognize me?" "Oh, yes," I said, "you are Uncle Sam." I felt so honored that he was a close friend of our family. I told him I was waiting for another parade.
One day while I was playing in my sand pile, my mother came out of the house crying, and I yelled, "What's the matter, Mom?" She said, "Come along, we're going to tell Dad that Uncle Sam had a heart attack and died." Back in the twenties your body would be brought back to the house, until the time of the church service. In the afternoon of the next day we went over to their house to pay respects to Uncle Sam. As my folks went into the house, I ran to the barn. If Uncle Sam is gone, what about his big white horse, I wondered. But there stood the beautiful white horse. Why isn't he concerned about Uncle Sam and why does he hold his head so high? About this time, my folks missed me and my dad came and stood at my side. I asked," Will there be no more parades on the TH?" "Oh, he answered, "There will always be a Fourth of July and there will always be an Uncle Sam, but not the one who you knew so well. You know, son, Uncle Sam is not a man. It is a country pulling together with one goal, that of freedom and justice. And like that horse when we lose our leader, we must keep our head high. I then walked with him to the house and took my last look at Uncle Sam.