Don't Tread On Me
The American flag demands our respect.
The greatest symbol of freedom in the world, the flag has been flown faithfully by many generations of Americans who proudly (and humbly) display their flags in honor of what the United States represents to the world, and in honor of the men and women who have given their lives to preserve our freedom and way of life. The American flag is to be cherished and should be treated with the utmost of care and respect.
As a child, my father taught me how to raise and lower the flag, how to handle it, fold it, how to store it and most of all how to respect it. As a youngster, I raised and lowered the flag every day at my high school out of respect to my father and the country he loved. It was a duty I cherished.
Dad was a marine who fought in the South Pacific during WWII, and like many of our brave warriors who have fought to protect this country, my father had the utmost respect for his country and his flag. Through the years, he spoke little of the battles he faced, it was a topic that remained a taboo to discuss till the day he died and was laid to rest. I always admired how this man could repress the horrors he had seen in battle and yet live to remain calm, loving and dedicated to serve his fellow man with a sense of alacrity that was truly inspiring. He was a great human being, a model of how life was meant to be lived, a man of integrity and a pure soul.
So in memory of my father and those selfless veterans who have served our country, I ask our fellow realtors who market around Memorial Day and the 4th of July by planting those little plastic flags near our mailboxes - Please go back and remove them later when the weekend has passed. In time they become worn and tired. The sun fades them, and their limp stripes and battered stars end up littering our streets. Perhaps you've not noticed? Maybe you need a refresher course from my father on how to treat the flag. Daddy would surely instruct you if he were here today, but he has left this world and has left me in his place to kindly remind you.
I am sure you love your country and I'm sure that is why you plant all those flags in your neighborhood; that's a fine thing to do. Please - just go back and remove them before they fade and end up on the street to be trampled by cars and foot traffic. It is right and proper to remove them rather than leave them to rot in our streets. Let's work together to honor our country and treat the flag accordingly.
May God bless America and may we faithfully honor our fallen warriors and those who have served us and our country so well.
Semper Fi Dad.