Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why I fly the flag

I fly the flag because in 1776 Farmers, shopkeepers, lawyers and clerks—both common folk and gentlemen—took arms and risked their lives and livelihoods to defend a set of new ideas, among them, that all men were created equal and that they had certain inalienable rights including life liberty and ownership of private property.

I fly the flag because 235 years after that grand experiment began, I can still bear arms, assemble with whom I choose, read a diversity of thought in a free press, worship ‘according to the dictates of my own conscience’ and express my opinions without the fear of governmental retribution.

I fly the flag because at far-flung stations around the world, the uniformed men and women of our armed services put their comfort ‘on hold’ to protect and defend my freedom. As George Orwell said, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those would do us harm.”

I fly the flag because Miss Brenner, my 1st grade public school teacher, taught me both the words to the pledge of allegiance and what they meant.

I fly the flag because I have the right to choose my leaders in a peaceful bloodless, electoral process, which ends at the ballot box and not the end of a gun barrel.

I fly the flag because my father volunteered to answer the call of his country when tyrants threatened the world’s peace and because my mother and grandmother found refuge from worn torn Europe in a place called the United States of America.

I fly the flag because every year at our town’s Veterans Day celebration there are fewer former members of the 442nd Regiment Combat Team marching in the parade.

I fly the flag to remember both the Maine and the Alamo, the Tuskegee Airmen and the Buffalo Soldier, and places like Antietam, the Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Kuwait City and Hue.

I fly the flag because of the lump in my throat I felt during morning flag ceremony as a Boy Scout at Camp Winton, California and at retreat as a young Lieutenant at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.

I fly the flag so that when I have departed this earth, my children ad grandchildren will remember this and know that I loved my country and the freedom and opportunity that my citizenship allowed to enjoy.

I fly the flag because some others don’t.

I fly the flag so that I will ‘never forget’.

Why do you fly the flag?

-an essay by my father, a reason I fly the flag

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Bex.