Today while walking, I was thinking about 9/11.
Tomorrow is another 9/11, a day for rememberance.
A day to remember that Freedom isn't Free, and that lives have been surrendered in its cause.
A day to recall the souls and their loved ones who lost so much due to terrorism.
A day to remember our troops, who are serving the cause of freedom in lands far away.
We live in a country that has fought for its freedom since the beginning. Our forefathers risked everything they had, including their lives, for this country.
I thought of Frances Scott Key, standing all night at a ship's rail, despertate to see if our flag was still flying, and then putting his passions into words that became our national anthem.
Brilliant, desperate, heartfelt words. Simple, beautiful words. Words that do not require explanation or altering. Words that should move every heart who hears, and bring tears to every eye that beholds them and the flag.
They have taken out Pledge of Allegiance out of most of our schools, have dragged our flag through mud and dirt, and have burned her in effigy.
Our money says "In God We Trust", yet our children cannot pray in schools. Creches cannot be displayed in front of churches in fear of upsetting someone who is not Christian.
When our people went to war for WWll, women rolled up their sleeves and went to work in the factories, making war supplies for our troops. Movie stars and celebrities went overseas to entertain our exhausted soldiers, and there was no public outcry against the war. We were all Americans, and we were united in one cause. The cause of Freedom.
Little boys were taught to be silent along the streets when Old Glory passed, and they saluted. Everyone took off their hats as She passed by, and hands were held over hearts as a plege of allegiance.
Flags were displayed on public buildings and on private properties. Often one would see a flag with a single star in a window, depicting a soldier serving in war. The star was blue, for a live soldier, changed to red for a wounded soldier, and to gold for one who gave his life.
Soldiers carried the flag into battle. Children lined up in playgrounds before classes to watch the flag being raised and Pledge Allegiance. The history and meaning of our flag was taught in classrooms, and all knew what the white and red stripes indicated.
Then something changed. Parades became fewer and fewer, and when Old Glory passed by, the crowds continued to chatter, laugh, and shift. Fewer were those who stood silently, remembering what She represented.
Children no longer knew the Pledge of Allegiance. They no longer stood at attention and saluted or crossed their hearts when watching our flag pass. Adults no longer took off their hats, stopped talking, and showed honor for Her. Many never even looked at Her.
Our soldiers came home to hate groups shouting, spitting and throwing garbage on them. They wer dishonored on their own soil after fighting a futile war for peace and freedom for others. They were shamed. They were ridiculed. They were the unloved and unwanted.
No parades to celebrate their sacrifice and bravery. No welcome home.
Politicians began to be open about their disdain for our Constitution, lining their own pockets in place of serving the people. Millions were spent on campaigns for re-election, and the people began to believe their votes didn't matter, so they stopped voting by the thousands. Politicians began voting to abolish prayer in public places, and allowed other flags to fly above Old Glory. They voted against our native tongue, English, as being our official language.
As the division between politicians and The People widened, our country became something our forefathers would never recognize.
Free housing, free food, free education, welfare, free medical care and job priorities were made into law for the illegal people who crossed into our country. The demand that our teachers be bi-lingual and class books written and printed out in foreign languages became the norm. Illegals were rewarded rather than deported.
It became law that companies and colleges meet a "quota" of minorities, regardless of their credentials, legal status, or abilities.
Segregation brought much blood and tears to our streets, but the rights of blacks to eat in any restaurant, drink from any public faucet, attend any school was granted. This should have been the beginning of the end of prejudice, and for a while, it was. Blacks had as much right to our freedom as anyone, as it should be.
Our National Guard troops lined the streets and sidewalks so black students could enter schools. The troops stood between the new laws and the violent intentions of some in the crowds.
As America became more and more prosperous, more and more of the people became more and more "conspicuous consumers", taking their eyes off what was going on in our nation and the world, and became "all about me". Morals and standards were set aside in favor of "more, more, more!".
Gadgets had found the hearts of Americans. We needed ever newer and faster computers, the very latest in cell phones, digital cameras because we didn't want to wait to see our pictures. Cars were a status symbol, and who would be caught DEAD without wearing designer jeans and shoes? Ads and promotions for sexual enhancement replaced modesty.
The love of more, more, more led to Mothers leaving homes to go out and work, earning another paycheck to pay for houses, cars, vacations which were beyond the family budget. Children became "latch key kids". Saving accounts were "old fashioned" in place of dot com stocks, which ultimately resulted in complete failure and loss.
Church attendance dwindled, profanity became the norm in the theatres, juvenile crime skyrocketed. Divorce was on the up-climb, animals had to have pedigrees, and no one could understand any of the words of the popular music that did its best to destroy our hearing.
People wore clothes inside out, and girls wore their underwear on the outside. Birth control pills were given to teenagers, and sex "education" was taught in schools in place of history or geography.
More and more people were "on the dole", and our education system standards were lowered to pathetic levels. Kids who couldn't read were graduated from high school, and the division between job opportunites widened. Gone were the interests in learning a trade such as carpentry, cabinet making or masonry. In were the "liberal education degrees".
Our young lost interest in serving our country, and entering the military was frequently ordered by a judge in lieu of going to jail. Our heroes were pop stars with no morals or decency, and many people couldn't begin to say who was Secretary of State, or even who their Representavies, Senators and Congressman's name was.
Adn then 9/11/01 happened. We were stunned and shocked to realize our nation could be attacked by terrorists. We watched our TV screens in horror as we saw the deadly destruction happening here on our own soil.
We saw true heroes in firefighters, police men and women, and the people who risked their own lives to save others.
We Americans became Americans again. Our flag was flown from buildings, parks, cars, trucks and windows. People wore T shirts and jackets with Old Glory proudly displayed. There was no room for segregation, discrimination or hatred of another's religion.
The tragedy of 9/11 brought on Unity.
Our country sent troops to fight off repeated terrorists attempts, and we watched as other countries joined the battle, forging unlikely alliances.
And we watched our young men and women don uniforms and make pledges to defend our country with their lives, if necessary. How proud we were of those who took the mantle of being our protectors and freedom fighters!
Our newscasts don't mention much about the war our young are battling any more. There just isn't time enough to talk about what is actually going on in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, because of some celebriety getting a divorce, having a baby, or whatever Juicy scandal is the latest in "news". Our media doesn't report truth or facts, and feeds off sensationalism.
And our troops continue to fight for freedom.
A lot of changes are taking place in America right now, and it is uncertain just what we shall wind up with for our future.
Let us not forget the greatness of our nation. Let us remember the fighters for freedom. Your freedom and mine. Let us all rekindle the patriotism and heroism required to turn our nation back into one of unity, pride and production.
Let us remember the fallen, and let us teach love for our flag. Let us insist upon the Constitution being our legal standard, and let us, once again, become a nation of hard workers, God fearing and God loving people who believe kindness, common sense and decency as a desired way of living. Let us return to demanding sanity and honesty in our politicians, and let us stop apologizing for the "bad guys" who break our laws. Let's put them in jail where they belong. And keep them there.
Let us become soft on religous rights, and hard on those who would destroy them.
Let us look to our troops with pride and gratitude. To our flag with passion and respect. To each other with mercy.
Let us be Americans.