I was taken by surprise by my overwhelming emotions at a recent Mammoth game. Here I am at the Pepsi Center with my James and a group of our friends and a tear rolls down my cheek.

We had all just come from dinner and had settled into our great seats, thanks Keith. Then it happened, it was time for the Star Spangled Banner. I wasn't familiar with the set up of the stadium and before I could ask the nice woman in front of me pointed to the American flag. We both just smiled at each other and I turned towards the flag.

There are so many things on a day to day basis that make me feel patriotic, but few just bring me to my knees with pride and tears. Its not fair to not remember the name of the girl who sang the song that night, as she was amazing and hit every note perfectly. As I starred at the flag with my hand over my heart and quietly sang along to the words, I was washed over with emotions. In that moment I no longer saw the presidential debates, the political commercials... I didn't think about home mortgages or the price of a pork chop, I only thought about America and what she stands for in my heart.

As an American I can have my opinions, right or wrong. In America I can stand tall against our leaders if I disagree, I can embrace my children and I can water my lawn. I am free to go to the grocery store and buy fresh vegetables and safe meats form my family. As an American I can stay home because I am sick and still get paid, I can go on a school field trip with my child... in this land of the free I can stroll through museums of art and science and history and I can drive a car. Thanks to our leaders for their successes and failures as all of it creates a stronger 'us'. I pray for the safety of our troops on American and foreign soil.

I have thought of all of this, felt all of this because of one little bitty song. A song that brings everything together.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?...

The Star Spangled Banner has been with us since 1814.