The other day when I was out and about, I stopped by my friend’s house, to return her power washer and share some fresh tomatoes from our garden. Her darling daughter was waiting for me at the curb with her autograph book as well as with the family’s copy of Mr. Quigley’s Keys.
After I signed both of the books, we got to talking about being an author and guess what? She’s a writer, too, currently working on a cookbook. How cool is THAT? She told me that her favorite part about Mr. Quigley’s Keys is the sign language; her favorite page is when the book changes alignment and opens up vertically to a saluting Mr. Quigley as a young soldier in the Navy.
It’s actually one of my favorites, too. Didn’t our talented artist Audrye do an incredible job with his likeness! And the poppies on the page? Well, I think they just make the page pop. What’s even more poignant about all of it is the stark reminder that freedom is never free. Don Pittman, the man who inspired our special story, was just 19 years old and off serving in the Korean war, fighting for our freedom, when he lost his hearing. That meant he never got to hear his own children’s voices; isn’t that a steep price to pay? I often think of the brave men and women who serve so that those of us back on hallowed ground can go about our lives safe and free. And I’m humbled and grateful.
Happy birthday, America; may we never forget that you are the land of the free because of the brave. And may your colors fly high, not only on parade day, but each and every day of the year.