EDITORíS DESK: Patriotism over the Fourth

       Patriotism is important to many Americans, as evidenced by the lingering discussion at a national level about how often and in what places certain political candidates stick flag pins in their lapels.
       I just felt fortunate to be part of a truly spontaneous patriotic experience at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site July 4. My family and I were walking along, like hundreds of others who were there for the "Family Fourth" festivities. Somewhere between the barn and the pig wallow, the strains of the Star Spangled Banner could be heard, floating across the field from the Orchard House lawn about 100 yards away, where the Fountain Creek Brass Band was playing beneath a large tent. Not everybody heard the music at exactly the same moment, the distance being what it was and people's hearing being different. But the responses were pretty much identical. People stopped where they were, turned in the direction of the band, took hats off if they were wearing them and stood silently listening to their National Anthem. When it was over, people continued on with what they'd been doing. Nothing was said. It just happened. Later on, I told ranch manager Andy Morris about it, and he told me he'd observed the same phenomenon in the part of the ranch where he was.
       Does this signal a new era of patriotism? Who knows? But it is nice to be able to report on such events. I saw other instances of patriotism elsewhere between July 3 and 5, most notably in the "Old Fashion Fourth of July" performance in Bancroft Park by Floyd Frame's Pikes Peak Musicians Association Band with wonderful soloist Amy Sue Hardy, and in the Ride for the Brand Rodeo at Norris-Penrose Stadium, where hard-working cowboys automatically put their hats over their hearts when the Anthem is played.
       Former Old Colorado City caricaturist Bill Crowley once proposed that merchants sponsor a Fourth of July Parade, promoting the shopping district while drawing on people's love of country. I don't see a conflict myself. Just don't expect any shopping while that song is on.

- K.J.