Messages posted to the 187th web concerning our Flag.
FROM: Frank DrinkwineI have this US Flag flying in front of my house now thanks to Calvin Sloan and the men from last year. It is my first US Flag.
I was so confused as to whether I wanted to shoot holes in it and re hang it or to just put it away. I have felt no trust and constant betrayal since as long as I can remember by the White House of my era. I looked at that flag for months just wondering to myself what the hell does it really mean to me. I couldn't come up with an answer.
I called Calvin one day not to long ago just to chat and I mentioned to him my dilemma. Calvin asked me a question that I found shocking but yet it cleared up the dilemma for me. He asked me who I saw in the flag when I looked at it. I had never thought about who I see, but only what I had learned over the years about the government it represents to me. One I don't trust much anymore.
Suddenly I saw what Calvin meant. I couldn't believe how I had missed the point of the flag to some of us.
I saw the men and women who died to save it, I saw the men and women who volunteered to save it and lived. Suddenly I saw all of us in that Flag. I saw the CAV, the 101st and 187th and as much as I could, I saw the people.
Finally after all this time, the US Flag got a Salute from me. It took a long time, but now I understand.
Thank you Calvin and Ben and Skip and Mike and Ed and all of you whom I now see when I look at our US FLAG.
My sincere thanks.
FROM: Monte Olson
Well, I might as well throw a few words in here. I'm not sure when it happened for me - seeing the flag and having it transcend its presence as a physical object. It's been a while. It may have been 1990 when Desert Storm was brewing and I was determined that those who went to Saudi Arabia would not receive the same welcome we received. That's when a woman, seeing I had served in Vietnam, put her face in mine and shouted, "You should be DEAD!" It stunned me at first, but then I realized that people like her had not a clue why the soldiers went and why we felt as we did. It had nothing to do with policy. It had everything to do with looking out for your brothers and being there with them. At that time, that is what that flag meant to me. It was a feeling that woman would know nothing about
It may have been when I accompanied a friend of mine, Don Bennett, to a Veteran's Day service at a small cemetery outside of Springfield last year where perhaps 30 people were present. Several infirm WWII vets were there, and I thought about them and the passage of time and what they'd given for our country. I thought about all of us and what so many of you have given for our country -- without hesitation. (I was skeert a few times, which did cause me to think about hesitating. <G>) I wondered if we were and are anachronisms in an age when such a commitment is ridiculed more than respected.
Whether others respect it or not, it is MY flag. It is my FATHER'S flag, and it belongs to all of the good people on this list and all of the good people everywhere who have their own special meaning. It represents something very profound. Those who haven't been where you have don't know how lucky we are to live in our country. I do. You do. I look at that flag and think of that.
I'm not sure when it moved beyond a physical symbol, but I am glad it did. When I look at it now, I see faces, events, a culture or respect, morality and ethic, and I see the beauty of our homeland.
For that I'm glad.
From: Ben Simpson
In less than a month I will march a color guard and a firing squad into 4 cities cemeteries and we will pay our respects to "our departed comrades" just as I have been doing for more than 20 YEARS, since 1974, and it WAS then that I realized to what degree that great American flag represented to ME. The first 3 years were the toughest as I stood there in the firing squad and listened to the chaplains prayer to honor our DEPARTED brothers, the memory of those brothers I had lost were the reason for the tears under the colored sunglasses and the heavy heart and the lump in my throat. After then I was elected squad commander and I felt honored to be there to pay respect and honor those who had gave so much.
Frank you have gained what I have known and for that I salute you for that alone will bring you more peace and comfort in your journey out of confusion.
Again you are all in my prayers for peace and enlightenment
FROM: Mike Hodges (Rat 38)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Frank.
When I look at the flag I never ever see the US Government. I see the people of the US that I feel the flag really represents. Is has been and always will be the people that keep OUR flag flying so proudly.
From the very first round ball fired at the British in the name of freedom to where ever the hell we are involved now, It is the men and women who make up the country and particularly the military that have maintained Old Glory as a symbol of our freedom. Not the Government.
Our Freedom is what we must protect from all governments and war mongers. We do that better than any other. Unfortunately, we still have to protect our freedoms and in particular or Constitutional Rights from our own Government. This may well prove to be the toughest battle of all. Politicians and in particular the current President seem hell bent to deny us all of the rights so valiantly won by our forefathers
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