Two incidents: One involving the US Flag, the other Veteran appeasement!Submitted by The Pen on Mon, 08/18/2014 - 01:57
This weekend I was able to get away from my home life and partake in an all day boating excursion on a popular Oregon lake. This all day trip found us anchored and swimming, tubing and grinning and blasting a reverb over the lake not even the county sheriffs cared to confront us about. Our boat was tagged, safe and even in the midst of boozing and smoking, we were not confronted about our happy and contagious behavior.
Right before we began tubing my cousin pulled out a beautiful miniature US flag and placed it in the back hole-spot of the boat. As he did so, the others on the boat began saluting and humming, "The Star Spangled Banner". I found myself rather uncomfortable and without urge or heartfelt obligation to follow suit. I did not salute and I did not hum. Soon after I pointed out in all my calculated inebriation that this is what we die and kill for...a piece of cloth. Yes, the ideals and principles behind the symbolism are of course an argument, however those ideals and principles are cemented in the stripes of red and white and the blue therein cradling the stars.
Later that evening after we had pulled the boat from the lake and departed the heavenly mirrors of sky of that day, we stopped at a gritty convenience store to get some more booze. As I was leaving the man in front of me in line exited the store the same time and we struck up an intoxicated conversation. He said, "I'm 64 years old, served two years in Nam". I replied, "Oh". The conversation was over sooner than it began and when I arrived back at the truck I told the others about the conversation they witnessed across the street from me. When I told them what the man said to me my cousin responded, "that's when you say thank you for your service!"
Let me kindly give my two cents on these matters. I did not and will not salute a symbol long eroded of principle meaning and purpose. I cannot fall into line and turn a blind eye to addresses our nation has assumed in the name of democracy and freedom. And I will not thank a stranger for service when I may be thanking them for killing others and following treasonous orders. I felt in those two brief moments as if I was unable to fall into line any longer. No, I do not salute a piece of cloth stripped of meaning and I will not thank someone for something I know absolutely nothing about, especially when my thanks might be for the dead of children, women, men...my fellow humans.
Peace and Love always.