07/03/08 — America’s flag: It should mean more than it does to many Americans

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America’s flag: It should mean more than it does to many Americans

Hundreds of years ago, a little band of patriots decided that freedom was worth fighting for. They sealed the deal with a star-spangled banner — a symbol of the fledgling country they had created.

And tomorrow, as we mark the anniversary of sorts of that battle for freedom, there will be many who won’t even bother to think about the American flag and the sacrifice it represents.

That is one of the great tragedies of this modern, busy world. Many people simply do not take the time to think about where they came from. They are too busy worrying about where they are going.

That red, white and blue banner is a symbol of what people can do when they unite behind a cause that has meaning and purpose.

It symbolizes thousands of lives lost in a David vs. Goliath-type battle that no one really thought that little band of patriots across the pond could ever win.

It is a symbol of a gift that was given to today’s generation many, many years ago.

And although this July 4 will probably be more about the beach and enjoying family gatherings, when the first fireworks fly, we should stop and think about the first time a flag was hoisted above a battle — and why we celebrate the Fourth with fireworks in the first place.

It is our duty as the generation charged with making sure that the lives those patriots sacrificed and the courage they showed are forever remembered and honored — and that the freedom they fought for is forever preserved.

So salute that banner tomorrow — and promise to protect it. And if you wipe away a tear when you hear your national anthem, be proud. It means you understand just what kind of sacrifice it presents.

Published in Editorials on July 3, 2008 11:21 AM