Sometimes I see things that bring tears to my eyes; it usually is an emotional moment and often nostalgic. This is one of those moments; a message exchange between two American friends:
Jackie; Have a wonderful time - and be proud of Iran, as I know you are. The Rick Steves piece was a gentle reminder of the potential of "our second home", and the true nature of this special country! You are carrying the hopes of many of us for new relations with Iran.
The background story is that Jackie, who served with the Peace Corps in Isfahan during the 70s has twice gone back with her husband Mike in the past few years. She was selected to march in the Peace Corps section during the President Obama’s Inauguration Parade in Washington, DC. All volunteers were also asked to carry the flag of the country they served in. Gretchen is a former City Commissioner and State Senator, who served in Zanjaan as a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid 60s, and has similarly traveled to Iran recently.
For us, the Iranian Diaspora, the dilemma with our own flag is amazingly difficult to understand for non-Iranians. The problem arises because each one of us from the old guard identifies with a different one of the emblems on the three-color flag. To me seeing an Iranian flag carried in front of hundreds of thousands of Americans in honor of the most important change in the history of this nation brings the same pride that I feel when I see the flag in the World Cup, or at openings of the Olympic Games. In addition, as Gretchen pointed out, Jackie carried it as a symbol for the hope that millions of Americans, Iranians, and Iranian-Americans have for better relations between the two countries.
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