Monday, June 15, 2009

Flag Day - Proud to be an American

Yesterday was the United States Army’s 234th Birthday. It was also Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of our flag, by the Continental Congress, on June 14, 1777.

I got a treat yesterday; WGN America broadcasted the Cubs versus the Twins game. WGN is one of the few stations that does not cut to a commercial break when then National Anthem is played and it is preceded by God Bless America. I like this because I can stand up salute and cry (this year I have also been crying more after the Cubs games than in the past few years).

The Colors were presented by Honor Guard soldiers that serve in the training Brigade at nearby Fort Sheridan (Highland Park, IL). They had all seen action in Iraq. I rose from my chair immediately after they walked onto the infield, and presented the flag.

First came the singing of God Bless America; then our National Anthem. I snapped to attention and rendered a hand salute. It took about 5 seconds before the tears were pouring out of my eyes. I cannot listen to Star-Spangled Banner without thinking about those that have given their lives and their futures in defense of our Country.

The only criticism that I have of the WGN production crew is that they pan the audience, rather then concentrating on the flag. I did however notice everyone in the stands were standing and several men were saluting; the same as I was doing.

In comparison, I had attended several Independence Day celebrations (On the Beach concerts) on Treasure Island, Florida where people milled around, stayed seated, chatted or spent the time stuffing their faces. For shame, for shame.

When complaining to a friend about this, he said that I was overly patriotic; he is no longer my friend.

Yes, I am a flag waver! I love my country and support its authority and interests. I support the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court; whether I agree with them or not. And I often disagree with their decisions. I carp and complain, as many others do; but I still respect them and their decisions. Our system of government isn’t perfect, but it’s the best that you can get.

If my paternal great grandparents and my maternal grandfather hadn’t left Eastern Europe to come to America, I probably would not be here today to write this Blog. I am very thankful that they did make that decision many years ago.

I am proud of my Bohemian heritage, but I’m more proud to be “in the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

I will continue to be patriotic and will always salute our flag. If you cannot, in your heart, bring yourself to do this; you should go elsewhere. If you cannot bring yourself to support the Constitution and the President; get out of the US as fast as you can. We don’t need you here; whether you are a citizen or not. If you cannot bring yourself to honor our flag; leave the country immediately and go dishonor another Country’s flag.

The Beach Bum

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