Information courtsey: Jim Rapp
Jim is a life member of Post PA-52 in Meadville, PA
Fly your flag today! Special tribute to our veterans!
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"Old Glory", this Flag which we honor and which we serve
is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thoughts and purpose as a nation.
It has no other character than that which we give from generation ot generation.
The choise is ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices,
whether in pease or war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us -
Speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us,
and of the records they wrote upon it.
President Woodrow Wilson
To the youth of the country...
Let the American youth never forget that they posess a noble inheritance,
bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors;
and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded,
of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life,
the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.
The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity;
its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful as well as useful;
its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defenses are impregnable from without.
It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title.
It may, nevertheless, perish in a hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers,THE PEOPLE.
Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and the intelligence of the citizens.
They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest,
and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.
Commentaries on the Constitution, 1851
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Only a Dad
Only a Dad with a tired face,
coming home from the daily race.
Bringing little of gold or fame,
to show how well he's played the game.
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
to see him come and hear his voice.
Only a Dad with a brood of four,
one of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
bearing the whips and scorns of life;
with never a wimper or pain or hate
for the sake of those at home await.
Only a Dad, neither rich nor proud,
merely one of the surging croud.
Toiling and striving from day to day,
facing whatever may come his way;
Silent whenever the harsh condemn
and bearing it all for the love of them.
Only a Dad, but he gives his all,
to smooth the way for his children small.
Doing with courage stern and grim,
the deeds that his father did for him;
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a Dad, The Best of Men.
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Hello - remember me? I'm your flag. Some folks call me Old Glory, others call me the Stars and Stripes,the Ensign, or just . . . the Flag. But whatever they call me, I am your flag. And, as I proudly state, the The Flag of the United States of America.
Something has been bothering me lately. I was wondering if I might talk it over with you. It's about you and me.
I remember sometime ago ( I think it was Memorial Day, or was it the 4th of July) when people lined up on both sides of the street to watch a parade. When your father saw me coming along, waving in the breeze, he took his hat off and held it against his left shoulder. His hand was directly over his heart. Remember?
And you. I remember you! Standing there - straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat on, but you gave the correct salute. They taught you in school to place your hand over your heart. Remember your little Sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you. I was proud, very proud, as I came down that street. Oh, yes, there were some Servicemen there, standing at attention, giving the military salute. Ladies as well as men, civilians as well as military, paid me respect... reverence.
Now, if I sound a bit conceited ... well... I have a right to be. I represent the finest country in the world - The United States of America. More than one aggressive nation has tried to haul me down, only to feel the fury of this freedom loving country. Many of you had to go overseas to defend me. A lot more blood has been shed since those patriotic parades of long ago and I've had a couple stars added since you were a boy, but I'm still the same ole flag.
Dad is gone now... and the hometown has a new look. The last time I came down your street, I noticed that some of the old landmarks had given way to a number of new buildings and homes. Yes sir, the old town sure has changed. I guess I have too... 'cause I didn't feel as proud as I did back then.
I see youngsters running and shouting through the streets, college boys and girls disrupting our campuses, people selling hot dogs and beer while our National Anthem is played... everything from apathy to riots. They don't seem to know - or care - who I am. Not to long ago, I saw a man take his hat off when I came by... he looked around, didn't see anybody else with there's off... so he quickly put his back on.
Now - when I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. Occasionally, you give me a small glance and then look away. When I think of all the places I've been... Normandy; Guadalcanal; Iwo Jima; Battle of the Bulge; Korea; Vietnam; Desert Storm; and so many more - what happened? I'm still the same ole Flag.
How can I be expected to fly high and proud from buildings and homes when within them, there is no thought, love,or respect for me? Whatever happened to patriotism? Your patriotism? Have you forgotten what I stand for? Have you forgotten all the battlefields where men and women fought and died to keep this nation free? When you salute me you salute them. Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometime. Look at the names of those who never came back. Some of them were friends or relatives of yours... maybe even went to school with you. That's what you're saluting - NOT ME!
Well, it won't be long before I come down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight and place your hand over your heart. Do this because I represent you. You'll see me wave back, my salute to you...
- Anonymous -
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All Rights Reserved (1998)
Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.
Last revised: 02/06/99