Seeing all of the American flags proudly waving in the breeze this past Memorial Day weekend got me to thinking about my father’s flag. Dad, an Air Force veteran, loves our country and our flag and has the Air Force theme song as the ring tone on his phone.
Soon after I had moved to Corpus Christi in 1978, my Dad told me that he wanted to put a flag pole in the front yard of our family’s South Texas home. So, on one of my weekend visits, Dad and I made a trip to a local plumbing company where we purchased a 20-foot galvanized pipe to use as a flag pole. We also purchased all of the hardware and ropes for the pole.
By the end of the day our home had a flag pole to rival the one at the local post office. It was great. My only concern was that folks might actually mistake our home for the local post office.
After returning to Corpus Christi, I contacted our local US Representative’s office and told them about Dad’s flag pole. I asked them if it would be possible for them to give my Dad one of the flags that had flown over the US Capitol. They agreed and within weeks sent me a flag and a certificate verifying the day the flag had flown over the Capitol. I presented that flag to my Dad a few weeks later at Christmas.
I enjoyed seeing so many flags on display this past weekend and wish that folks would leave them on display year-round. Having visited thirty-plus countries around the world, I can say that there is no place like the United States of America.
While in Bangladesh just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I encountered several hostile people who shouted at me to go home. I finally decided that I would approach those individuals and ask them one question: “If I could give you enough money to go live with bin Laden or to go live in America, which would you choose?” To a person the answer was America! “Then why,” I asked, “are you so angry and shouting at me to go home.” To a person — no answer!
Even with all of our faults, many people around the world still find America attractive, at least attractive enough that they would move here if given the opportunity.
Like my Dad, I love our country and I love to see the American flag on display. I have a modest flag on display in our front yard and will keep it on display year-round. I like seeing it when I leave for work and when I come home from the office.
This past weekend my wife and I talked a lot about our country and those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. The flag in our front yard reminds us that we owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals. Cheryl and I have decided that one small way by which we can pay our debt of gratitude is by keeping our flag on display. So, that’s what we will do. Looking at our little flag also reminds me of my father’s flag and the day he and I proudly raised that flag in the front yard of our home.