The Flag Drooped
One day the circus came to town. It was the Greatest Show on Earth and we had tickets. Nine of us piled into the minivan and headed downtown to the great stadium where our basketball and hockey teams usually play. Somehow, we got separated. Being disabled, I took the elevator to the third floor where my son-in-law said our seats were. But when I got off the elevator, there was no sign of the kids. While I was waiting in the lobby, the announcer’s voice came over the speaker system. “Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth! Please rise for our National Anthem!”
As the music began I came to attention and saluted with my hand over my heart. I was the only one in the lobby who did. Vendors continued to sell popcorn and drinks. People continued to check their tickets for their seat numbers and scurry toward the correct doorway, urging each other to “Walk faster, we’re missing the start!”
The Flag drooped that day.
When I came home, I checked my e-mail. There was a message from my sister. You know, one of those things that get circulated. It was about the way terrorists are being treated. It was called “I Don’t Care…” It said “I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was ‘desecrated’ when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all….When I hear a story about a Marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care….When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college hazing incident, rest assured that I don't care.”
Again, the flag drooped.
Because you see, I DO care. I DO care when my fellow citizens ignore the Flag or the National Anthem. I DO care when our country sinks to the level of the terrorists who attacked us. I DO care when the Bill of Rights is set aside. I DO care when our soldiers act like criminals and do not represent our country with honor. I am ashamed of the atrocities our country has committed in the name of “the war against terror.” I don't think that Al Quaeda represents all people of Islamic belief anymore than the Ku Klux Klan represents all of our people.
This is not to say that I don't support our troops. I support those who represent the ideals of our country and serve with honor. I support those who protect and defend the Constitution as they have taken an oath to do. And I still salute when the flag passes by or when the National Anthem is played.
Yes, the Flag drooped that day. But there are still those of us who wave it high—with pride—and defend it with honor, as did our fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers. God bless our Flag. God bless our country. God bless