A MEMORIAL DAY RANT

I am not a guy who usually quotes from the bible, but this commandment came flashing through my brain. I went online and got the exact words.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.”

There were and are folks who take that commandment literally. One of the groups is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Guess what, they do not salute the flag. In 1943 the Supreme Court declared 6-3 in West Virginia v. Barnette that freedom of speech allowed the children in school not to pledge or salute the flag. Prior to that the Barnette child was expelled from school on a daily basis.

The story is very important and it occurred during World War II. The court spoke in this manner, “. . . the state did not have the power to compel speech in that manner for anyone. Somehow, I thought that we had this issue settled. During the Vietnam War, the opponents of the war were vilified for burning our flag. Is it possible that the flag burners hastened the end of the war, so that more of our soldiers were not killed?

I cannot understand why we would listen to a President tell us that it is disloyal to kneel during the star spangled banner. I hope that many of you know the origin of the tune and the words. The Star Spangled Banner was made the national anthem on March 3, 1931, a full 144 years later than the founding of our country. Even afterwards the song, God Bless America was sung at sporting events. It was written during World War I in 1918 by the same composer who wrote White Christmas, Irving Berlin.

It was used by the Philadelphia Flyers during their two year run in 74-75, 75-76 years as Stanley Cup Champions. Kate Smith sang the song and the expression, “It’s not over till the fat lady sings,” came from that set of sporting events.

If you have ever gone to a ballgame, a hockey game, or any other sporting event in the United States, you will see people sitting or talking during the anthem. Not everyone is patriotic I guess. When I was an athletic director at a large high school outside of Philly, I would sing the national anthem. Lots of people did not pay attention to me. I did get over it.

I am not sure how our current president has the temerity, or the gall, or the chutzpah to tell anyone that they are being unpatriotic when they do anything. Donny Little Hands avoided the draft 6 times, when other young men were sacrificing their lives for our country. Give me a break you two bit con man. Stop telling us to be patriotic, when you don’t even know the words to our national anthem.

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