Saturday, April 20, 2013

Old Glory

While delivering fuel to our store in Keenesburg I decided to clean my windows. This was somewhat of a daunting task in that I had been up in the mountains earlier in the evening and it had snowed, and CDOT used Magnesium Chloride (Mag) on the roads as a de-icer. Mag is oily and greasy, and very difficult to clean off of windows. Many paper towels later I had somewhat accomplished the task.

Being a conscientious individual, I took my dirty towels over to the dumpster to discard them. For whatever reason something caught my eye and I turned my flashlight on to see what was within.

There, lying amongst the discarded boxes and bags of trash was “Old Glory”. Upon further examination I determined the reason She was in there was because the wooden standard to which She was attached was broken.

To my shame, with all of my American ingenuity, I could not figure out a way to get Her out of that despicable predicament. I could not find a way to climb into the dumpster, and if I did, how would I get back out? I am no longer a “spring chicken”. The tools that I had available could not snag or grab Her to hoist Her out.

Alas, Old Glory was destined to be buried unceremoniously in an unmarked grave.

Today, 9-11 still weighs heavy in my heart. Add to that two major situations this week, the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Waco, and then to see “The abstraction of the Union… that millions of people would fight for, and many thousands die for”, “Old Glory”, so carelessly cast away, grieved me so.

When a flag is so tattered that it can no longer serve as a symbol of the United States of America, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The American Legion and other organizations regularly conduct flag retirement ceremonies, often on Flag Day, June 14. Also, modern nylon or polyester flags should be recycled due to hazardous gases produced when such materials are burned.

Is this what our great country, the United States of America, has become? To not give an iota as to the relevance, the power, the symbolism of Old Glory? To just cast Her away with the daily garbage? Have we finally lost complete and total respect for the oldest and most beloved Veteran of our country that we cannot give Her a proper and respectful send off?

Not knowing how “Old Glory” got into that predicament, I cannot cast stones at anyone. But I will ask any and all that, from this point forward, if you are an American citizen or if you love this country, if there is an American flag that has seen better days, please treat “Old Glory” with respect and have her properly retired.

You wouldn’t want to end up in a dumpster, would you?

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