Thursday, June 15, 2017

You Can Stand Alone

I was puzzled at the number of people in the last couple of days who popped into my office, looked at the pictures of our children I have (together with their mother/my wife) on the wall to the right of desk and who'd then tell me, "you've got a special day coming up!" 

When you live every day, as I do, like it's your last, they're all special (of course, some days when I come home I have to deal with somewhat disappointed if not angry people and my neighbors have trouble meeting my gaze). 

I got it. I knew this Sunday is Father's Day but yesterday was also very important, it was Flag Day. Not a lot of action in the greeting cards section of the grocery store, I admit. It would seem as far as the Hallmark folks are concerned it wasn't a commercially viable holiday.

In their defense, I think we tend to think "flag" when we speak of the Fourth of July, mere weeks away, and we mentally (if not physically) fold the flag back up probably no later than noon on the fifth. In the aftermath of 09/11/01, people have had flags everywhere perhaps to the point of the flag not really being seen by many. 

So a day late, but less than a dollar short let me restate the obvious and if this offends you, move on (I'll never know you were here if that helps): We think of our military when we think (at all) about Flag Day because the military is our first line of defense from 'all enemies, foreign and domestic.' (I still remember the entire oath).

But the men and women in uniform are not defending the flag, which is a piece of fabric in a particular design, shape, dimension, and color. Rather, they are defending the nation the flag represents, our purple mountain majesties, fruited plains, traffic jams, amber waves of grain, the whole kit and kaboodle, warts and all. But the flag stands for each and every one of us but, looking at our politics, it seems sometimes we fall for anything.

Yantic Cemetery,  Norwich, Connecticut, Flag Day 2017
You can stand alone 
Or with somebody else 
Or stand with all of us, together.

If you can believe
In something bigger than yourself
You can follow the flag forever.
-bill kenny

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