I view the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of our country, not our government. I
love the flag, and yes, I pledge allegiance to it every week - I am a Cub Scout
leader.As the flag is a symbol of the country, it is the country I
am ultimately pledging allegiance to, not the President, not Congress, not the
Federal government. Our country, and the 300,000,000-plus people in it who are
my neighbors, friends and family.I love this country, and the men
and women who past and present have placed their lives on the alter of freedom
for our sakes. Many were able to take up their lives again. Many were not.
Most served honorably, not committing the atrocities that Earl and others
mention. I cannot bring myself to condemn the soldier disarming IEDs in
Afghanistan, or the Navy doctor helping Marines in Iraq deal with the nightmares
they live through every day on the battlefield.If any condemnation
is deserved for these wars, it belongs to the leaders who pursued it unjustly
and those few in the field who knowingly committed illegal acts. Please don't
condemn those who served honorably.
Unlike Earl, I am not a veteran. I do know many. Some are front-line soldiers,
many are entering medical service. I don't know a single one who has committed
or would condone the atrocities that some posters lay at the feet of the
military as a whole. I agree that atrocities have been committed, and it
saddens me greatly. I don't doubt that some military leadership have let their
decisions and actions be guided by political expediency or personal gain, and I
agree that is wrong. I also agree that our government is out of control.I don't know what is in the hearts of fans at ball games when the
national anthem is played. All I know is what I see. I see a lot of people
standing still, hand over heart, singing or not, looking at the flag. But I see
more milling about, laughing, talking, shouting, some eating or drinking. They
have that freedom.I sing the national anthem because I love the song
and because I love America. I think about those who DID die for my freedom,
fighting in the Revolution, 1812, Civil War, WW1, WW2.
Oops -- typo alert. I said "Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S. Senator who
served 1869 through 1971" I meant "Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S.
Senator who served 1869 through 1875." Sorry about that.
To Earl | 4:00 p.m. May 7, 2011Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S.
Senator who served 1869 through 1971, said "My country, right or
wrong." It is our responsibility as Americans to recognize both when our
country does something right and when it does something wrong ... and, when it
does something wrong, to try to fix it. Contrary to what has been suggested, we
do NOT "stomp" on our country or its flag when we recognize our
country's faults (large or small) and try to correct for them. It is our job,
our responsibility and our duty to do that. We fail in our duty when we try to
whitewash everything the country does, and criticize those who try to atone for
the bad things we have done.It would not surprise me to find that
you and I, on occasion, have differences of opinion concerning our country's
actions, right or wrong. That is not something I will discuss here. I'm just
pleased to find someone else who believes, and follows, Senator Schurz's
It being Sunday and a very quiet morning, I was reading the Bible in Luke.
Chapter 22 and verse 32 just about popped out of the page. I can almost see it.
I can almost see Christ putting a hand on Peter's shoulder. I can almost see
Christ looking Peter in the eye. I can almost hear Christ say: "when thou
art converted, strengthen thy brethern".I hope it's okay to
share things like this in a post. When I read these comments about putting your
hand over your heart and all, I think that those people who do not do it aren't
very converted to America. I think that they are just along for the ride. I
think that their heart is somewhere else.Some posters are converted.
Some posters are strengthening their brothers.
The way most people butcher the national anthem, it may show greater respect and
patriotism for them to just keep their mouths shut. Besides, I suspect that
some who belt it out often do it thoughtlessly, not to express patriotism, not
even thinking about what the words mean (just like a lot of people who sing
hymns). But then I don't have Mike Richards' gift of discernment to read the
hearts of men, so I don't impute improper intentions to those who sing or to
those who don't. I agree with Kalindra. Stop being so judgmental.
re: Kalindra | 5:50 p.m. May 7, 2011 Pesky little facts can be so
annoying, can't they? Did I write the letter? Sacrament meeting is
something else. You could claim that I'm concentrating on what other people are
doing and not focusing on the purpose of the sacrament. You would be partially
right. It's just that a ringing cell phone or someone speaking in a stage
whisper tends to break my concentration, but I do try.re: Earl |
4:00 p.m. May 7, 2011 We'll have to agree to disagree. I had a
response all ready to go, but there were some technical problems. By the time
things got sorted out, L White posted. Her comments are better than anything I
could have written.We are the government: We, the People. No
government can exist without our consent. It is not the government that defines
who we are and what we are; it's the people.There is not such thing
as partial commitment to America. A pledge requires full commitment. An oath
demands our ALL, even our lives.You're complaining while sitting at
the banquet table of Freedom.
I find it interesting that people like the letter writer and Mike Richard's
choose to use the time during things like the national anthem to judge what they
believe (Wether they are right or wrong of course does not matter) to be in
others minds and hearts instead of paying respect to the flag.
My hubby and I just got back from a special Mother's Day luncheon. He's such a
sweety. Anyway, he asked me not to read the comments before the luncheon,
because they turn me into a real, well, you know the word.Some of
the posts on this thread break my heart. I have always been proud to be an
American. I have always sung the national anthem. I always put my hand over my
heart. Maybe it is out of style to say that you are proud of your country. I
am proud and I do not lie.I read parts of the Constitution from time
to time. My favorite part is at the beginning. "We the People of the
United States". It is our country. It is our government. I am proud of
it. I love America. I love the people of America. I love the government that
the people have elected. I love the symbols of America. I love the flag.It breaks my heart to know that some people are so full of hate towards
this wonderful country. It just breaks my heart.
Mike, I'm sorry you see things that way. What you think the flag represents and
what I think it represents are very different. I don't see that it represents
the American people as much as it does the American government. They're two
entirely different things. Mark Twain once said "Loyalty to the
country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." I don't
feel that our government has done much of anything to deserve my loyalty. For
one thing, I will NEVER wrap the flag around myself, I'll leave that for you.
And I'm not spouting off against America, I'm spouting off against the
out-of-control government and military that you seem to adore so much. You have
everything exactly backwards.You can have your flag, your military
and your government. I'll stay loyal (and even pledge allegiance) to the people
and my country. Fair enough?
Earl,It looks like the moderators are still in a conundrum with my
response. I'll have to admit that I took you to the woodshed. Apparently taking
someone to the woodshed in not allowed. I'm still awaiting the formal automated
rejection notice.Let's look at a toned down response. You served.
Good. Many Americans our age had that privilege. Many did their duty. Many
found service rewarding. Many, like you, did not. That's life. You can't remake
history. You can't change the past.There is one thing that you can
change. You can stop wrapping yourself in the Flag when you spout off against
America. You can at least be consistent. Do your discharge papers have a
clause that lets you pound your chest and tells us all that because you served,
that you have the right to stomp on the Flag?Well, you DO have that
right. Only you can decide if you're man enough to appreciate what
that flag represents. Only you can decide if cemeteries all over the world that
are filled with fallen Americans gives you the right to stomp on their
service.They didn't return.
@Mike: just so you'll know, I'm a Vietnam-era veteran. I have had an inside view
of these so-called fights for freedom you're talking about. In the last 50 or so
years, when has our military been involved in fighting for our freedom? What
I've seen is power-hungry politicians and rank-crazed militarists collude to
create these "freedom crises" where none existed. You've been
hoodwinked.As for the name-calling, don't you think that's the last
resort of someone who doesn't have a real argument? All of your comments have
been aimed at intimidating rather than defending how you think our freedoms have
been won by invading sovereign nations for our own selfish gain. Oh wait, you
actually think we're doing these people a favor, right? Such ingrates.
Y'know, once upon a time, thousands of people at a game would stand and actually
SING the Anthem together. Now we usually have some musically challenged
celebrity signing an off-key and strangulated version of the song. (Okay, I
know it's called "style." But it usually still sounds awful.)Somehow, I think we've lost something in the process.
America, Land of the TSA checkpoints and Home of the bogus war on
Coercion? Did the letter writer want to FORCE people to act like
they appreciated America? Is that what it's all about? FORCE? COERCION?It couldn't be about appreciation, could it? No, of course not. It's
just too easy to rant and rage because someone is FORCING you to put your hand
over your heart. Appreciative people don't need force to show their
appreciation. People who recognize the sacrifice others have paid for the
freedom that they enjoy do not need to be forced to honor those who fell that we
might be free. People who appreciate the incalculable price paid have no
trouble showing respect for the flag that symbolizes that sacrifice.There will always be free-loaders whose goal is to minimize that sacrifice and
to stomp and rage at the perceived evil that America has done.Most
of us have had children who acted like spoiled brats from time to time. Most of
our kids grew out of that phase. Many Americans perfectly fit the
description of the "ugly American". They're self-centered. The world
revolves around them. That give no thanks to anyone for anything. They're spoiled brats.
A thought but how many of those watching the Real Salt Lake-Monterrey game
weren't Americans? There's probably a good contingent from Mexico who came up to
watch the game too and well... how much attention to Americans give the Canadian
national anthem when the Raptors visit?
This country that has given me all the freedoms that should be celebrated, also
gives me the freedom to respect/honor the flag or the national anthem however I
please. There is no law governing this. If you want to put your hand over your
heart, you have the freedom to do so. If you don't wish to participate, you
also have that freedom.The letter writer is trying to honor freedom
and liberty through coercion and force of others. It's quite a contradictory
Perhaps some people only feel like they live this country when "their"
guy is the President.What can you expect when these people listen to
non-stop bashing of this country and its President on the radio? Amazing how fast the tolorant are willing to make a subjective statement about
an audience they know nothing about. Was there a survey taken to find out who
did or who did not? And thus we see the constant drible of hate coming from
these two who try to make every issue them versus us. What about
the likes of Mike Malloy, Michael Moore, and even the apologetic Obama
constantly tearing away at the USA. What about the communist party, and seiu
ranting together about how bad the USA is. Funny thing about your right wing
radio hosts, they don't tear at the USA, only liberal policies that are
destructive to the USA.
We talk about America as the Land of Freedom but out of the other side of our
mouths we expect others to march lock, stock, and barrel to our beliefs.
@Mike Richards: whatever.
What can you expect when these people listen to non-stop bashing of this country
and its President on the radio? What can you expect when nutjobs on fair and
balanced news channels bash the American people calling them lazy and feeling
entitled? It's like drinking poison everyday and not expecting it to
have any negative effects.
There are self-centered bigots everywhere who think that they can run down
devotion to Country. They are to be pitied. They've been invited to eat at the
banquet table of freedom and while their mouth is full, they spew obscenities at
their host. Those who ignore the opportunity to show respect to our
Country when the Anthem is played are just self-centered infants who have no
knowledge of or respect for those who died to purchase their freedom. Instead
of taking a minute to remember why they are free, they just go on with their
lives as if nothing matters except themselves. They pretend that they are free
because God pointed his finger at them and declared them to be the lucky one,
the one who got to live in a free country, while most of the other 6 billion
grovel for the necessities of life.The same thing happens in church
every Sunday. As the sacrament is passed, very few meditate on its meaning.
Very few . . .
"and showed very little if any respect at all for our country that offers
so many freedoms. (So, based on that statement) I would expect that all
individuals that live in this country (be forced to) show some respect when the
national anthem is played."It just doesn't make sense when you
complete what was actually going through your head. I wish everyone would show
more respect for the national anthem, for the other drivers on the road, for the
environment of public places, and just show respect in general for everyone and
everything, in this country and in others. But I'm glad I live in a country
that gives me the right to choose whether or not I will show that respect.
The same thing happens at parades, when the flag is marched first in line with
the color guards.Perhaps some people only feel like they live this
country when "their" guy is the President.Sad.
You remind me of the little boy who told his Sunday School teacher, "Mary
didn't close her eyes during the prayer!"If you were looking
around and observing/judging others, how much attention were you really
paying?And isn't it nice that we live in a country were we have the
freedom to not only behave in such a way but to write into the paper and
complain about it?
Heaven forbid, Mr. Ludlow! I hope you took names or pictures and turned them
over to Homeland Security, the TSA or maybe just the local police! This has to
stop NOW!Any one who doesn't doesn't participate in singing the
National(ist) Anthem should be...what? Apparently Mr. Ludlow thinks they should
at least be scorned, if not waterboarded. And the same goes for not reciting the
Pledge of Allegiance, right? WhatEVER is the world coming to??I
stopped singing the National(ist) Anthem a while back, and you won't hear me
pledge allegiance to any flag, either. Shame on me, huh?One of the
most frightening impulses throughout history has been the temptation toward
nationalism. Just because it's American nationalism doesn't mean it's purer or
more benevolent. It almost inevitably leads to exceptionalism which engenders a
sense that might makes right. It allows otherwise good people to do things they
wouldn't normally do in the name of this exceptionalism because they can do no
wrong. Sound familiar? It should.Bottom line: I encourage more
people to remain silent during those demonstrations of pseudo-patriotism. Be a
true patriot instead.