266 “Old Glory”

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 266

July 4, 2019

“Old Glory”

The Fourth of July dawned with wisps of white clouds on a soft blue background, unusual for Upper Michigan in the summer. The usual colors are much more brilliant and the clouds puffier, as if forecasting what will come with afternoon’s deep blue hues.

As I positioned the flag on the deck rail, I lamented the fact that the nation’s detractors have settled on another precious element of America as a target for what has become a non-stop litany of protests against the only place on earth where you are really free to speak your mind.

Well, shall we leave the term “mind” for another time? You would need to be completely unaware and uninformed as to our history to decry a country whose men and women have freed more souls from harsh governments than any other that ever existed.

The old term “you reap what you sow” comes to the fore. In the last half century those of us who know and love history and appreciate the sacrifices made for our freedom point a deservedly accusing finger at the educators who have, as was their plan, systematically spun tales of anti-Americanism to their students that have grown like a terrible disease. This disease is not dis-ease in terms of subtle objections to the way things are run in this country. Oh, no, this disease has been repeated and taught so often that it is now thought true. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. And deceive they have….

Step by step, professors and lecturers from coast to coast have spawned a generation of functionally and historically illiterate graduates who now have a growing grip on what happens to our freedom.

Our American flag stands as more than a symbol. It has been, for 243 years, for countless citizens and servicemen and women, the life’s blood of our nation. Flown over joyous parades, it also drapes the coffins of those who paid the ultimate price for everything we have today.

Are they inadequacies in our government? Certainly. Yet, beyond all those shortcomings lies the foundation of a free people, who, today, celebrate its inception — hard fought by men whose ranks included the most educated and the least, men whose spirits bolstered by a loving God, propelled them to found a nation truly worthy of Ronald Reagan’s description “a shining city on a hill.”

Today, as you watch the 4th of July parades, whether in hamlets or major cities, stop a moment and thank God — yes, God — that you live in a country whose history is a beacon to oppressed people around the world, a country that beckons immigrants to come and make the American dream real for their families. Leave the controversy of current times aside and celebrate the mix of America. We are, as my beloved Taiwanese government professor at Franklin College loved to say, “an international salad with American dressing.” Well, dress up today. Wear your red, white and blue.

Hail that flag as it passes. In your community, large or small, in your state, make sure that voices are raised not to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from our public meetings and government sessions. View that pledge as a prayer and defend it with equal fervor.

May “Old Glory” find a new sense of glory in our country. Stand against those who use it unfairly, who malign it and seek to, in using it in such a manner, diminish its value to each and every one of us.

Happy 4th of July, and may God, as He has for centuries, continue to bless the United States of America.

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