As many of you know, my father passed away three weeks ago today. Still unbelievable in many ways. And still the image of the flag covered coffin is as sharp as a salute in my memory.
Yesterday I was walking my crazy 45 lb labradoodle puppy around the neighborhood. More like, she was dragging me but I digress. It was trash day, so at every house we had to avoid trash cans and bags, even the recycling bins which are open for perusal. And boy was my puppy interested in all those containers had to offer. Then I saw something which made my heart contract. A flag, rolled on a wooden pole, and tossed carelessly beside a trash can. This American flag, wounded in its annual waving for freedom’s sake, lay abandoned and dirty beside a trash can, ready for pickup, to be taken to the dump.
Our flag is our symbol for freedom. My father served and fought for our liberty. Many millions of soldiers have died for Old Glory.
So I took my car and drove back to that house. I admit, I was angry. I was ready for a confrontation. And then I realized which house. I knew these people. They’re strong Christians! They’re conservative. They are proud Americans. What were they doing throwing out our American flag like it was a used napkin. Politely I rang their doorbell. And when the man of the house answered, I said, “Hi. How are y’all?” We chatted for a minute. Then I said, “I noticed you’d thrown out your flag. Would you mind if I took it and gave it to the military or to a Boy Scout troop? They’ll dispose of it in a respectful way.”
“Sure. I didn’t know.”
“No problem. I can take it.”
His words resonated with me. I didn’t know. That shocked me. How many Americans don’t know that Old Glory deserves our respect? Its soaked up the life blood of our soldiers, patriots, our forefathers.
So, in case you don’t know. There are rules for the handling of our flag. There are procedures for decommissioning or retiring a faded and worn flag. Please don’t just toss it in the trash. So respect for Old Glory and for the men who have served, honored, fought for and died for our liberty which waves proudly from every flag pole.