The year is 1776. Fifty-six men stand around looking at each other as each one steps forward to sign what would be the Declaration of Independence. The room is suffocatingly hot because they can’t open the windows. What they are doing is a death sentence if they get caught, or don’t succeed. The Revolutionary war was fought and our freedom was won.
During the Civil War they battled for states rights. Brother vs brother, the most lives were lost here. In the World Wars they were sent across seas to free people from actual, manifested evils. They fought for the oppressed people, and freed them.
In Korea and Vietnam they were spit on, called baby killers, and threatened. Mocked and jeered, yet they still went to foreign lands to fight a distant yet unfamiliar enemy. In the Persian Gulf War, again they were sent to a distant land to help people who couldn’t help themselves. A fight for democracy.
Today it’s the war on terrorism. When will it end? People concerned about “innocent” lives being lost…. what about 9/11? Have you forgotten? How can we so easily turn our backs on the brave men and women who protect and serve us?
To think that there are people in this country that spit on our soldiers, abuse their freedoms and destroy our flag baffles me. It’s more than just a symbol of our country. It’s a symbol of courage, of sacrifice and freedom. She has stood up for the weak and the suffering in countries that couldn’t help themselves. She has been washed in the blood of soldiers fighting for a certain set of rights. She’s hung low in mourning, and flown high in moments of immense pride.
When you stomp on the flag, or burn it, or cut it up, you aren’t just disrespecting one person; you are disrespecting hundreds of years of history, and thousands of people who have given their lives, or sacrificed huge parts of their lives for this country. Do you think that you look cool? Where do you think that your rights come from? That one day someone just decided you were deserving of certain rights and that nobody ever challenged them? Wrong. Why do you think all those wars were fought, for shits and giggles?
I hope that we can put an end to this, this extreme lack of respect, this self-destructive behavior. When you step on the flag you are throwing away years of courage, you are throwing away the lives of the men and women who make it possible for you to burn your cities, kill your brothers, step on our flag, and sleep at night. It’s time we wake up and see what is happening in our world today. Are we just going to stand by and let this happen?
I am proud of my country, and the men and women who have served, continue to serve and will serve. Many people I love are in the military and it is a brave and selfless thing to do, to sacrifice your life for others. I am proud of our ideals, our values and the American Dream. I am proud that we give other countries the opportunity to fulfill their own dreams.
These soldiers didn’t just fight for abstract principles, They fought for you, and me, and the millions of people who have yet to be born. They fought for millions of people they will never meet. They leave their families for us, they leave this Earth for us. They fight for basic human rights, for the good that is left in this world.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Written by: Regan Witkowski