Some people call me "Old Glory", some call me "The Stars and Stripes", and "The Star Spangled Banner". But whatever they call me I am your flag, the flag of the United States of America . . . Something has been bothering me, so I thought that I might talk it over with you because it is about you and me.
I remember some time ago, people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parades and naturally I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze. Then your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his hand was directly over his heart . . . remember?
And you, I remember you. Standing there as straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat but you were giving the right salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart . . . remember?
WHAT HAPPENED? I'm still the same old flag. Oh I may have a few more stars since you were a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago.
But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I came down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance and then you look away. I see children running around shouting . . . they don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take off his hat and then look around. He didn't see anybody else with theirs off so he quickly put his back on.
Is it a sin to be PATRIOTIC anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been? Flanders Field, Anzio, Normandy, Midway, Wake Island, Iwo Jima,Guadalcanal, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Somalia. Take a look at the roll of Medal of Honor Recipients some time, and of those who never came back to keep this republic free . . . one nation under God . . . When you salute me, you are saluting them.
Well, it wont be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So when you see me stand straight, place your right hand over your heart . . . and I'll salute you by waving back . . . and I'll know that YOU REMEMBERED.
"That Ragged Old Flag"
ｩ 1974 House of Cash, Inc.)
I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda rundown."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your old flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it."
He said, "Have a seat," and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.
"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
when Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing "Oh Say Can You See".
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams.
"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.
"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II.
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She was went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.
"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land here she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused.
"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and she's wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.
"So we raise her up every morning,
take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
and we fold her up right.
On second thought, I DO like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."
(c) 1998 Sam Duckworth
Can you hear the cheers
They ring through out the years
Can you hear the cries
They are for those who died
Can you feel the love
It is from those who have passed above
Can you see the tears
They are mainly because we care
Tears of Love
Cries of Cheers
Above all we Cared
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
Not so long ago and in a pasture too uncomfortably close to here, a flock of sheep lived and grazed. They were protected by a dog, who answered to the master, but despite his best efforts from time to time a nearby pack of wolves would prey upon the flock.
One day a group of sheep, bolder than the rest, met to discuss their dilemma. "Our dog is good, and vigilant, but he is one and the wolves are many. The wolves he catches are not always killed, and the master judges and releases many to prey again upon us, for no reason we can understand. What can we do? We are sheep, but we do not wish to be food, too!"
One sheep spoke up, saying "It is his teeth and claws that make the wolf so terrible to us. It is his nature to prey, and he would find any way to do it, but it is the tools he wields that make it possible. If we had such teeth, we could fight back, and stop this savagery." The other sheep clamored in agreement, and they went together to the old bones of the dead wolves heaped in the corner of the pasture, and gathered fang and claw and made them into weapons.
That night, when the wolves came, the newly armed sheep sprang up with their weapons and struck at them, crying, "Begone! We are not food!" and drove off the wolves, who were astonished. When did sheep become so bold and so dangerous to wolves? When did sheep grow teeth? It was unthinkable!
The next day, flush with victory and waving their weapons, they approached the flock to pronounce their discovery. But as they drew nigh, the flock huddled together and cried out, "Baaaaaaaadddd! Baaaaaddd things! You have bad things! We are afraid! You are not sheep!"
The brave sheep stopped, amazed. "But we are your brethren!" they cried. "We are still sheep, but we do not wish to be food. See, our new teeth and claws protect us and have saved us from slaughter. They do not make us into wolves, they make us equal to the wolves, and safe from their viciousness!"
"Baaaaaaad!" cried the flock, "the things are bad and will pervert you, and we fear them. You cannot bring them into the flock!" So the armed sheep resolved to conceal their weapons, for although they had no desire to panic the flock, they wished to remain in the fold. But they would not return to those nights of terror, waiting for the wolves to come.
In time, the wolves attacked less often and sought easier prey, for they had no stomach for fighting sheep who possessed tooth and claw even as they did. Not knowing which sheep had fangs and which did not, they came to leave sheep out of their diet almost completely except for the occasional raid, from which more than one wolf did not return.
Then came the day when, as the flock grazed beside the stream, one sheep's weapon slipped from the folds of her fleece, and the flock cried out in terror again, "Baaaaaad! You still possess these evil things! We must ban you from our presence!"
And so they did. The great chief sheep and his council, encouraged by the words of their advisors, placed signs and totems at the edges of the pasture forbidding the presence of hidden weapons there. The armed sheep protested before the council, saying, "It is our pasture, too, and we have never harmed you! When can you say we have caused you hurt? It is the wolves, not we, who prey upon you. We are still sheep, but we are not food!" But the flock drowned them out with cries of "Baaaaaaddd! We will not hear your clever words! You and your things are evil and will harm us!"
Saddened by this rejection, the armed sheep moved off and spent their days on the edges of the flock, trying from time to time to speak with their brethren to convince them of the wisdom of having such teeth, but meeting with little success. They found it hard to talk to those who, upon hearing their words, would roll back their eyes and flee, crying "Baaaaddd! Bad things!"
That night, the wolves happened upon the sheep's totems and signs, and said, "Truly, these sheep are fools! They have told us they have no teeth! Brothers, let us feed!" And they set upon the flock, and horrible was the carnage in the midst of the fold. The dog fought like a demon, and often seemed to be in two places at once, but even he could not halt the slaughter.
It was only when the other sheep arrived with their weapons that the wolves fled, only to remain on the edge of the pasture and wait for the next time they could prey, for if the sheep were so foolish once, they would be so again. This they did, and do still.
In the morning, the armed sheep spoke to the flock, and said, "See? If the wolves know you have no teeth, they will fall upon you. Why be prey? To be a sheep does not mean to be food for wolves!" But the flock cried out, more feebly for their voices were fewer, though with no less terror, "Baaaaaaaad! These things are bad! If they were banished, the wolves would not harm us! Baaaaaaad!"
So they resolved to retain their weapons, but to conceal them from the flock; to endure their fear and loathing, and even to protect their brethren if the need arose, until the day the flock learned to understand that as long as there were wolves in the night, sheep would need teeth to repel them.
They would still be sheep, but they would not be food!
Now lets do a little substitution in the above parable, Master = legal system, sheep dog = Police, wolves = criminals, sheep = law abiding citizens, Great chief sheep = Federal Government, weapons(teeth, claws) = guns, food/prey = victums. Are you surprised? Think about the parable with the substitutions the next time you vote on gun control issues!
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