Hello, Remember Me?

SOME PEOPLE CALL ME OLD GLORY, OTHERS CALL ME THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, BUT WHATEVER THEY CALL ME, I AM YOUR FLAG, THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ... SOMETHING HAS BEEN BOTHERING ME, SO I THOUGHT I MIGHT TALK IT OVER WITH YOU ... BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT YOU AND ME.

I REMEMBER SOME TIME AGO PEOPLE LINED UP ON BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET TO WATCH THE PARADE, AND NATURALLY, I WAS LEADING EVERY PARADE, PROUDLY WAVING IN THE BREEZE. WHEN YOUR DADDY SAW
ME COMING, HE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED HIS HAT AND PLACED IT AGAINST HIS LEFT SHOULDER SO THAT HIS HAND WAS DIRECTLY OVER HIS HEART ... REMEMBER?

AND YOU, I REMEMBER YOU ... STANDING THERE STRAIGHT AS A SOLDIER. YOU DIDN'T HAVE A HAT, BUT YOU WERE GIVING THE RIGHT SALUTE. REMEMBER LITTLE SISTER? NOT TO BE OUTDONE, SHE WAS SALUTING THE SAME AS YOU, WITH HER RIGHT HAND OVER HER HEART... REMEMBER?

WHAT HAPPENED? I'M STILL THE SAME OLD FLAG, OH, I HAVE A FEW MORE STARS SINCE YOU WERE A BOY. A LOT MORE BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED SINCE THOSE PARADES OF LONG AGO.

BUT ... NOW I DON'T FEEL AS PROUD AS I USED TO. WHEN I COME DOWN YOUR STREET, YOU JUST STAND THERE WITH YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS, AND I MAY GET A SMALL GLANCE AND, THEN, YOU LOOK AWAY.

THEN I SEE THE CHILDREN RUNNING AROUND AND SHOUTING. THEY DON'T SEEM TO KNOW WHO I AM ... I SAW ONE MAN TAKE HIS HAT OFF, THEN LOOK AROUND. HE DIDN'T SEE ANYONE ELSE WITH THEIRS OFF, SO HE QUICKLY PUT HIS BACK ON.

IS IT A SIN TO BE PATRIOTIC ANYMORE? HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHAT I STAND FOR AND WHERE I'VE BEEN? .. ANZIO, GUADALCANAL, KOREA, VIET NAM; AND NOW, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. TAKE A LOOK AT THE MEMORIAL HONOR ROLLS SOMETIME, OF THOSE WHO NEVER CAME BACK, BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO KEEP THIS REPUBLIC FREE ... ONE NATION, UNDER GOD ... WHEN YOU SALUTE ME, YOU ARE ACTUALLY SALUTING THEM.

WELL, IT WON'T BE LONG UNTil I'LL BE COMING DOWN YOUR STREET AGAIN. SO, WHEN YOU SEE ME, STAND STRAIGHT, PLACE YOUR RIGHT HAND OVER YOUR HEART ... AND I'LL SALUTE YOU BY WAVING BACK ... AND I'LL KNOW THAT ...

YOU REMEMBER!

 

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