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Hi! Remember Me? Some people call me Old Glory, others the Stars and Stripes. Also, I have been referred to as the Star Spangled Banner. But whatever they call me, I am your flag. I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth. 

 There is something that has been bothering me lately and I thought that we might talk it over because it is about "you and me".

 Remember the first time we met? There was a 4th of July Parade many years ago. I was leading the parade down Main Street. I remember how proud I felt that day because everyone made me feel that way. Patriotism was very strong that day and you could feel it in the air. Even from a block away I could see you sitting high on your Dad's shoulders. I could see your broad smile and as I got closer I could actually see my stars and stripes sparkling in your eyes. I could see that you were proud. And as I approached, your Dad sat you down, immediately removed his hat and placed it across his left shoulder so his hand was across his heart. 


And you and your little sister, you both had your hands pressed so firmly over your hearts. I couldn't help but swell with pride as I waved in the breeze. Yes, that was a very proud day for me. With everyone paying me the reverence I deserve. 

Maybe I sound a little conceited. Well, I am. I have a right to be. I represent the United States of America. More than one aggressive nation as tried to haul me down. But they've all felt the fury of this freedom loving nation.

But something is different now. Something has changed. I don't feel as proud as I used to.  What's happened? I'm still the same old flag.  Oh, I have added a couple of more stars and a lot more blood has been shed to defend me since that 4th of July parade of long ago. 

Dad is gone now and the old hometown has a new look. The last time I came down your street I didn't feel as proud. You just stood there with your hands in your pockets and gave me a small glance and then looked away. I saw children running around and shouting. They didn't seem to know who I am. I saw an old man take his hat off and look around. He didn't see anyone else with theirs off so he quickly put his back on.

Is it a sin to be patriotic? The other day on bases I was being lowered from my lofty perch as our national anthem was being played. I saw several people standing tall and giving the proper salute.  They were proud. But then I saw several others in uniform come out of a building, looked at what was happening and turned and ran back inside. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Brothers of those who had given their lives to defend this country were running away as if they were ashamed of me. 

I saw several other men and women not in uniform. They were walking and talking. One of them wore my colors on his shirt and if you can believe one wore my stars and stripes as a patch for the seat of her jeans. They didn't seem to know who I am.

They didn't seem to know what I stand for. They don't seem to know how many brave men and women have fought for the freedoms they now enjoy. They don't seem to know how many selfless Americans have made sacrifices for that which they seemingly take for granted today. 

When you salute me, you're saluting our disabled veterans. You're saluting the brave men who gave their lives in the rescue attempt in Iran. Those still missing in action and those who never came back from the fight to keep the country free. When you salute me, you are saluting all of them. You are saluting those principles which have made the United States of America the greatest nation on earth. You are saluting the technology and courage that took man to the moon. You are saluting a man who had a dream that people of all races and creeds could live together as Brothers.  You are saluting those who asked not what their country can do for them but what they can do for their country.

I don't think the others mean to be disrespectful. They just need your help to reaffirm these things. They need your help to realize who I am and what I stand for. That I am the flag. I am the symbol of freedom. I am the emblem of the greatest nation in the history of the world. I have led your sons into battle from Lexington to Viet Nam. I have covered your honored dead under silent white crosses row upon row. 



Honor me, respect me, if necessary defend me with your lives. Never let our enemies tear me down for I may not return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism. Strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy. And I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all man kind.

I am not just a scrap of cloth. 

I am your flag and I'm still proud of you. 

I,,,DO  remember.







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