Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Things Mean A Lot!


Little Things Mean A Lot.
About Those American Flag Lapel Pins….
By: J. D. Longstreet
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In the spirit of full disclosure allow me to say, right up front that I have several American flag lapel pins. Some are singles, and some are crossed with the NC state flag, etc. When I am not wearing the Sons of Confederate Veterans Lapel pin, I will have either my American Legion pin, or my American flag pin on my lapel. Sometimes I will wear the American Flag pen on my left lapel, nearest my heart and at the same time, the Third National Flag of the Confederacy on my right lapel.

Yes, I AM making a statement with the wearing of those lapel pins. I am saying, loud and clear, the things those pins represent are things that are very important to me. It is an overt expression of my love and my caring for those things, those principles, which are the foundation of the countries, and the organizations, those tiny little lapel pins represent.

I will readily admit to being a nationalist. I think my country, the USA, is the best nation on the face of the earth. You may disagree. That is certainly your prerogative. But, do not expect me to change my mind. My country makes mistakes. It blunders sometimes. But… and you know what is coming… it is still my country!

As an American citizen, I am free to change that. I can denounce my citizenship and become a citizen of another country, if I wish. I DON’T wish. Some do.

Let’s be clear about something: I am not ashamed of my country. From time to time I am ashamed of some of my country’s leaders… but never my country. Just because I am ashamed of the actions and the behavior of some of my country’s leaders is no reason for me to remove, or not wear, an American Flag lapel pin. You see… that makes a statement, too. It says, again, loud and clear, that I am ashamed of my country. I won’t do that.

Back in the 1950’s I took an oath, as I was sworn in to the Army, to defend this nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. It is essentially the same oath the President of the United States swears when he is sworn into office. I don’t recall there being an expiration date on that oath. I’m proud of that. I wasn’t much of a soldier, but I had committed what there was of me to the service of my country. I have never regretted that.

We have a nation of leaders these days that have never worn the uniform of their country. They have never crawled in the mud with the enemy popping off 7.62 rounds over their heads, or heard the rattle of a machine gun, or fully automatic assault rifle, in the dark and watched the tracers skimming the service of the earth searching for a target in the blackness of night. They have never felt the stark terror of combat that dries your throat and mouth until your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth and you could not spit if your life depended upon it. And they know absolutely nothing of the courage and fortitude it takes to overcome all that and force your mind and your body to work and do the job you were trained for until the enemy is vanquished or you are dead. They have no clue! Yet, today we make these people our leaders and even the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.

You see, those of us who have made the commitment have paid for the right to question the patriotism of a person would refuses to wear a simple American Flag lapel pin near his heart to announce to the world, “I Love My Country”. A person who cannot speak or understand one single word of English will understand exactly what that simple little lapel pin is saying! That is one HELL of a statement. It is a powerful declaration!

Now, it seems to me, when a person is the President of the United States of America, which carries the title and the duties of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, he/she should wear that American flag lapel pin, if for no other reason than to demonstrate respect for the men and women who WILL go in his place, in his name, to fight, bleed, and die, on the battlefields where HE/SHE sends them. Is that asking too much?

Apparently it is. This country is so screwed-up, these days, and so close to functional illiteracy that it would not surprise me if many Americans could not identify the flag of their country. They sure as heck couldn’t tell you anything about it, like the number of stripes, what the colors stand for, how many stars are on the flag,, what the stars stand for, etc.

Now, I understand some of you don’t wear lapel pins of any kind… anytime. That’s fine. I respect that. Not a problem. I’m just saying that IF you DO, and you choose NOT TO WEAR a simple American Flag lapel pin … well… that tells me all I need to know about you.

J. D. Longstreet
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