Every day in the military starts at 0800 with the raising of the flag and the playing of the National Anthem. It's called morning colors. And it is a ritual I'm proud to say I've been a part of (as well as evening colors), and one that I still get to see - or at least hear - on a daily basis.
While I was active duty and working at the squadron, most mornings I would be out on the flight line during colors. Or in the smoke pit. It really depended on what kind of day it had been and what maintenance meeting had been like. We'd all pop to and face the music or the flag, if we could see it. And it always seemed like the day never officially started until colors had played.
It may sound cheesy and more than a little cliche, but there was always a bit more of a bounce in your step once colors had played and you knew the day was off and rolling. For us at the squadron, it meant that the day was at least two hours old, which meant only four or five more hours until lunch.
Now that I'm a spouse and stay at home with my children, I've found that colors is still very much a part of my day. I have a bit more flexibility with my schedule - you know, since I'm the one who makes it - but the day never really starts until 0800.
It's usually when I start A-Girl with her schooling. The workbooks come out, as do the pencils and crayons, and we begin writing and reading. (And just a smidge of arithmetic, though I'm proud to say she's been doing a fantastic job with it.) BreMonster grabs the blocks and starts configuring some new architectural scheme that, recently, comes out as either a cake or a castle. When A-Girl wants a break from writing, she assists and makes fortresses and bridges. I think she's going to be a tactical thinker.
They may be up at 0700, but even the girls know - the day doesn't start until 0800.
Today, at 0800, on a base somewhere near you, on bases all around the globe, the American flag was raised and honored by members of the military. Take a moment to thank a soldier. If you're on Twitter, give a shoutout every Monday with the hashtag #militarymon. Your support never goes unnoticed and never goes unappreciated.