Old Glory deserves our respectPublished 10:12pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Often it is what isn’t in the news that gets my attention rather than what is. An example of that was Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Flag Day in the United States of America. It came and went without any fanfare, exposure or media attention. It was the 234th anniversary of adopting our nation’s flag. Also, sharing this date is the Army’s anniversary having been in existence for 236 years.
We sometimes hear complaints about our school children not having sufficient knowledge of our history. Is it little wonder if they aren’t taught in school, read about it, or are exposed to it at home?
One look at the recent National Assessment of Education Progress report, “Nation’s Report Card,” reveals disturbing statistics. Only 20 percent of 6th graders, 17 percent of 8th graders, and 12 percent of seniors are considered proficient in United States history.
Now, perhaps Flag Day and the Army’s anniversary isn’t such a big deal, but I would maintain that every citizen should have a basic knowledge of our national symbol and the price that has been paid for it. How else can you learn respect and how to pay homage to your homeland? Our flag is a symbol of freedom not only for us, but recognized by others around the world as a symbol of freedom and hope. It demands, in my opinion, a certain degree of respect from its citizens.
Not until our current president came into office have I ever seen any highly elected official not stand at attention and salute during the National Anthem or the passing of Old Glory.
It is basic citizenship etiquette taught from 1st grade during my time, and should always be taught. How else do we hope to maintain a national identity?
We live in the land of milk and honey to borrow a phrase from the Holy Bible and should be appreciative of our inheritance. The loss of national identity leads to apathy and decay from within.
Who can forget the image of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the Stars and Stripes over Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during the Pacific campaign in World War II?
The men and women of our Armed Forces know full well the price paid for being able to fly the flag of freedom, Old Glory. Unfortunately, we are losing our knowledge and respect for what has been given us by the blood of others.