Cathy's Corner

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To all Americans...

A Message From America's Symbol of Freedom... OLD GLORY

HELLO!

Remember me? Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Stars and Stripes; I have also been referred to as the Star Spangled Banner. But, whatever they call me, I am your Flag, or as I proudly state ... the Flag of the United States of America. There is something that has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you ... because it's about you and me.

I remember some time ago, I think it was Memorial Day, people were lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade. The town high school band was behind me, and naturally, I was leading the parade. When your daddy saw me coming along, waving in the breeze, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his right hand was directly over his heart. Remember?

And you. Yes, I remember you. Standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the correct salute. They taught you in school to place your right hand over your heart.

Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you. Oh, I was very proud as I came down your street. There were some soldiers home on leave and they standing at attention giving the military salute. Also, some veterans with their caps at jaunty angles were saluting smartly. Ladies as well as men, paid me the reverence I deserve.

Now, I may sound a little conceited, well, I am. I have to be, because I represent the finest country in the world ... the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.

More than one aggressive nation has tried to haul me down, but they all felt the fury of this freedom living country. Remember... many of you had to defend me overseas.

What has happened? I'm still the same old Flag. Oh, I've had a couple more stars added since you were a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since that Memorial Day parade long ago. Dad is gone now. The home town has a new look. The last time I came down your street, I saw that some of the old landmarks were gone, but in their place, shining majestically in the sun, were a number of new buildings and homes. Yes sir, the old hometown changed.

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 give me a small glance when you look or turn away.

When I think of all the places I've been ... Anzio, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Korea, Vietnam, and now the Middle East; I wonder what's happen? I am the same old Flag. But now I see children running around and shouting as I pass by. They don't seem to know who I am. I saw an old man take his hat off, and then look around. He didn't see anybody else with theirs off, so he quickly put his back on.

Is it a sin to be an American patriot anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for? Have you forgotten all the battlefields where men fought and died to keep this nation, your nation, free? When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Take a look at Memorial Honor Rolls sometime. Look at the names of those who never came back, and are resting 'neath white crosses on a far away shore. Some of them were friends or relatives of yours ... maybe even went to school with you. That's who you're saluting ... when you revere me.

Well, it won't be long until I come down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight, place your hand over your heart and you'll see me waving back. My salute to you. I'll show you that I too remember.

I AM THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...

I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory. I fly atop the world's tallest buildings. I stand watch in America's halls of justice. I fly majestically over institutions of learning. I stand guard with power in the world. Look up at me and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident. I am arrogant. I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!

I am recognized all over the world.

I am worshipped - I am saluted.

I am loved - I am revered.

I am respected - and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years. I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.

I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy, and Guam. I was held high at Okinawa; Korea and Khe-San, Saigon, and all Vietnam know me... I was there. I led my troops, I was dirty, battle worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me. And I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my own country. When it's by those whom I've served in battle - it hurts.

But I shall overcome - for I am strong.

In 1969 I slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the face of the moon.

I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours. But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield; when I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier; or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, I am proud.

MY NAME IS OLD GLORY... LONG MAY I WAVE...DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN... LONG MAY I WAVE!!!

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