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One minute of silence

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    I experience many types of how someone would honor or dishonor our American Flag, or a Veteran that is in uniform. During most days when I see the American Flag flying high or maybe at half-mast honoring a fallen VIP or show respect to a miserable trajedy where many lost life and limb. I think of our Flag as a symbol of those who went before us and fought for our rights that we enjoy. Imaging not having the right of Freedom of Speech that allows you to post on the internet. You can say all sorts of trash and crap that would make a salty sailor blush, but it is our right. We have a right to dishonor our flag in a careless attitude. A brother-n-law that I have used an American flag to dress his desk. He ate on it, spilled on it, stacked all kinds of junk on it and all because he has a right to do so. He never was in the military and was never taught to respect the American flag. He never was in any kind of organization that respected the American flag that I know of. Even when I attend my Boy Scouts of America meetings, we start each meeting with our pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. The Boy Scouts Oath starts with "On my honor, I will do my best to God and my country...." enables each scout to respect our country. I came to respect our flag while serving in the United States Navy amongst my brothers in arms.

    To read the previous post of the veteran struggling to stand and salute the flag is a tear-jerk, but yet a proud moment to witness. Be forewarned that our world enemies are at the doorstep. When the rockets, missles and wars get closer to home, maybe everybody will have wished they had respected the fallen and our American flag. Maybe our future is to place all of us on the front lines with our single-shot 22's and 12GA shotguns, after all, I anticipate those anti-gun control cowards will be running away. Many have never served in the armed forces and they get their training from video games and Rambo movies. To stand and give your life for your fellow man takes courage and sacrifice not possessing some assault weapon you used to rob a liquor store and shoot a policeman. There are somedays I hope for war in this country to break out, it sure would hasten change, which I dearly want. I can see the Rush Limbaughs, Shawn Hannitys, Ann Coulters, and Glenn Becks hiding in someone's barn or like an old Iraq dictator our armed forces found in a dark hole in the ground. It would be funny to see Limbaugh dressed as female running away, like the Generale of Mexican Forces did and was caught escaping after the Alamo. Sad, but funny.

    The best show of American spirit and respect for a fallen Veteran was attending my Father n Laws funeral. He was a retired Master Sargent in the United States Air Force. He had a rank not uncommon to many who retired. He wasn't a General, not even an Officer. He didn't have a purple heart or a Medal of Honor. He was a veteran of the Korean War and briefly WWII. He was a patriot. His funeral would make you cry with all the people that showed respect. It was a normal funeral, but what took place after traveling to his resting place, I'll never forget. Six county Police cars, I counted 15 cars, stopped traffic not only on busy streets and roadways, but Highways and Interstates. Both directions were slowed or stopped to show respect. As we departed the Charleston, SC AirBase several service men and women stopped and got out of their vehicles, stood at attention and saluted. I said to myself, "wow". We passed a contruction zone where many with hardhats and on large earth movers, stopped removed their hardhats and placed them over their hearts. Again, I said to myself, "wow". My Father n Law was given a funeral that would be typical for a President of the United States. He was just a Master sargent, enlisted, worked on a variety of aircraft as a valued technician, but he was a veteran of the armed forces of the United States and he was given the best send off to ending peace as anyone would dream of having.
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    amc I just want to say "wow" what a great post! Your words just tell us again that there are very few Medal of Honor winners, very few who are recognized as being military heros, but there are countless thousands more who did their duty to the best of their ability and would have been heros if in the right place at the right time.

    Every veteran takes a vow which basically says that he or she will give everything including their lives in service to the country. Not many other professions can say that.

    Thanks for people like your father in law, there are lots more like him out there, the unsung heros that people never hear about that make America great.
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    Memorial Day is coming up soon and so I ask regardless of your politics, about whose a patriot or who isn't, and between a hot dog or a hamburger, please remember our fallen soldiers and all veterans, who made possible our right to disagree, and just say a little thank you, it would mean a lot to us who left buddies behind.
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    jamesn Wrote: Dutch I agree with you that a lot of people are disgruntled with our government. That is not new, it has been going on ever since we have had a government, long before you and I have been around.

    I thought the divisiveness got as bad as it could get under Bush, but now it seems to be just as bad again. I know it is not all about Bush or Obama, Congress deserves much if not most of the blame, but this nation is as divided as I can ever remember. I don't know how it can get much worse but it seems to be getting worse.

    Patriotic parades are for some people, and obviously not for others. That's a great thing about America, you can be patriotic or not, go to patriotic parades or choose to do other things. Thank goodness for that freedom.

    I have not seen any parades in this country to rival those of NK or Hitler. And, remember, our parades are VOLUNTARY, unlike some others.
    Jamesn; sure you are absolutely right; I just tried to "tickle" some people who overdo this. My point is simple; if you do not get involved in wars thenyou do not have veterans. For instance in the Netherlands they never had a parade for veterans,since they do not have many of them.
    They have only a rememberance day May 4th for the people who died during WWII.
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    Given our love of meaningless wars the meaning of Memorial Day has fallen on hard times. WW2, we miss you.
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    The many who mentioned any conflict or war America has engaged in as "Meaningless" is only responding to the politicalization of sending our troops into battle. To the many men and women who currently serve in our Armed Forces, none would believe meaningless when they have engaged a suspected enemy. None of our veterans would believe meaningless as a description of their conflicts and wars they fought in. It's mostly from those who never captured the experience of being in harms way that denounce any war and conflict as meaningless. Because of what, "meaningless", indicates is the death and wounded of those who fought were meaningless.

    A case in point is our politicians who never served in war and attempt to make our countries decisions on how our armed forces should engage the enemy. Some of these politicians that did serve did so with no time spent in harms way. Bush and Rumsfeld comes to mind where both served, but were protected from conflict due to a peaceful time or politically recognized as a future politician. Their ties to big business and supportive politicians kept them at a safe distance from any harm while that serving. It didn't happen to Kerry, who was wounded in vietnam, he's the exception, which I feel he has a educated view of the horrors of war. I remember during the Iraq war when our armed forces were engaged fighting with their vehicles that had minimal armor plating. Here's a response from a battlefield serviceman and the famous quote from Donald Rumsfeld:

    "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles? And why don't we have those resources readily available to us?"

    "Rumsfeld: It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it. As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have---not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.---You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up... "

    Technically, Rumsfeld was correct, but poltically, ethically and morally, he suffers from no respect in supporting our armed forces.

    I remember in Vietnam where M16's would misfire or jam. Our armed forces would run out of ammunition and resort to hand combat. Back home politicians were bickering over funding and keeping their support in office, nobody cared for the serviceman in harms way. Our politicians and big business ran the war and contributed to major blunders and failure on the battlefield. I desire a bill identified as an Amendment to the Constitution that prohibits Congress from interferring with a war or conflict. All Generals and Admirals that are orchestrating our armed forces will be cut loose to do what is necessary to destroy the enemy. The only person who may appove the use of military force and decommit the use of force will be the Commander in Chief, the President. Now think about this! This would stop the rambling and bickering in Congress because they would have NO decision in the use of armed forces. This would minimize the impact of big business interferring with the war. Especially, the commiting of our armed forces would be carefully made, because you don't just commit and tell how they should engage the enemy. Let the military do what they do best and are trained to do, keep out of it all politics. I beleive we would become more careful on commiting troops. The Amendment should additionally focus on keeping a well-trained force with all the tools that doesn't have the troops on the battlefield seraching for parts in nearby garbage dumps. This part of the Amendment would have penalities and protections against any business that contracts with the government supplying non-working components.

    As we remember on Memorial Day, next month, our troops and fallen heros along with our loved ones and family who have passed think of the life and times they spent here on this earth. Remember the good times and salute the valor in their lives.
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    My job was to bring my boys home. We didn't get deployed but I never view any mission as being against an enemy but rather a defender.
    Service is a bit of a gamble for poor young men. Get out before a silly war happens and get that DD214 so you get the GI Bill.
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    Jamming,that is one reason why I preferred my Remington 12 gauge, I really appreciated it when I was reassigned to another detail where the shotgun was not part of the squads TO&E.
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    Dutch I know you sometimes just "tickle" us and that's OK some of us will "tickle" you in return.

    But: when you say ..."if you do not get involved in wars then you do not have veterans"... yes you do, but maybe there would be fewer of them and they are "military veterans" and not "war veterans". The military veterans would be healthier, happier, live longer lives....etc.

    Unfortunately we have far too many "war veterans".

    And Amc is right about politicians who never served sending our troops off to war. I don't know enough about Sec of Defense Hagel but one thing I like is he is a veteran, a war veteran, and a combat veteran. He's walked the walk. To have a Sec of Defense who's never served is crazy.
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    The importance of the "Flag" has changed. It was a symbol of the power of the . . what ever . . . Capture the Flag and you won the Battle/War. It held the same importance as killing the leader.
    The meaning is no longer valid. The day of the King leading his army into battle no longer exists. A Flag now only tells you what Nation you’re fighting. The Flag had to be protected at all costs. It is not a sacred object though it is treated as one.
    The Flag does not have the same meaning today as it did 600 years ago but governments like the glory they derive from waving it about either as an action or with words.
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    Amen and pass the ammo!
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    I'll think of you when I'm in Barrington with the Great grand kids. By the way, are you getting Religion?
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    I am so confused and troubled by grand schism that is the United States and how "values" are defined enculterated. Almost jaded because it feels as if the folk(not using this word demeaningly like O'Reily.) Are not heard, understood and hold little power. One exception, we voted in President Obama, totally confusing Rove and Dick Morris. Anyone have the piece about dividing blue states from red states?

    It feels as if posting and sharing on various internetposts, blogs etc is nothing more than improving my tiping.

    Was the grand mob march through Watertown and the chest thumping of Big Daady the epitome of patriotism. I was moved and challenged to reflect deeper by two stories that had noflag,but had harps. Orry, I cannot post the image of the beautifulwoman playing aharp right on the corner of Boston Marathon ground zero

    Just read Diane Williamson's Worc T&G column about the Boston marathon tragedy and the fine line between patriotism and jingoism. Then I remembered a short tv news piece about a woman who came to Boston with her harp to play some soothing, profound patriotically rich music on the sidewalk edge of the yellow tape. Have been searching for that story without success yet. Found a picture. Then I found this piece by harpist Deborah Hanson Conant. So moving.... See blogs…Why Silence (sorry nolink).