Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

As I opened my e-mail this morning, I see where my dear friend El McMeen wrote a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times asking why there was no mention of Independence Day anywhere on the front page.

Because I'm about 50 miles displaced from my dear home town of Smock, I rely on the online version of the Herald/Standard, the local newspaper that is published in nearby Uniontown.

It appears that the Herald/Standard followed suit with the Times and totally eliminated any reference to Independence Day on their front page. No banner at the top of the page. No story featuring an old military vet reminding us of how valuable our freedom can be. Nothing.

Call me a flag waver. I'm proud of it. And proud of what millions of young men and women have done in years gone by to keep that freedom alive in this country.

I remember reading Jesse Ventura's book on "telling it like it is" where he said that he would not get in the way of someone who wanted to burn an American flag in his front yard. At first it was shocking, but do you know that flag burning is PROTECTED by the First Amendment of our Constitution and ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), and reaffirmed in U.S. v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990)?

In other words, our FREEDOM in the United States even allows us to burn and/or desecrate an American Flag. How many countries give their population that much freedom?

Back in Smock, I remember the old timer's taking such care and respect when hanging out Old Glory on Flag Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. They remember. They heard the screams of battle. I still hear them myself.

I even remember Kuba, our church sexton who would respectfully raise and lower the flag in the front yard of St. Hedwig's rectory every morning and evening. That flag pole is gone. And it appears that the national pride and love of country may be gone a bit too.

My grandfather was in World War I. I still remember his old campaign hat resting on a shelf in that little room behind the kitchen right next to his straw boater. I asked him about it once and clearly remember that he did not want to talk about his time in the war. But if you asked him about WHY he fought, you'd better sit down and get comfortable because you're going to hear at least a one-hour lecture. And he wasn't even born in the USA.

Today, it seems in vogue to bash the President, our country, its lawmakers, and even it's military.

This blog often reflects back to a time when things were different. Oh how I wish that we could be back there today.

Happy Independence Day everyone.

And remember, if you are hanging your flag vertically on your front porch, the blue field of stars goes on the left side.

1 comment:

Cori said...

Hurray for the Davis County Clipper here in small town Utah, and the Deseret News. We's flag wavers out here in the wild west I guess...maybe, gratefully, a little behind the "Times".