Remember me, remember me – some people call me "Old Glory" and
others call me the "Star Spangled Banner"- but whatever you call me – I am your
flag, the flag of the United States of America.
Something has been bothering me and I want to talk to you
about it. I remember some time ago, people lined up on both sides of the
street to watch a parade and, naturally, I was always there, proudly waving in
When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his
hat and placed it over his heart. Remember?? And you, I remember you standing
there straight as a little soldier. You didn't have a hat but you were giving
the correct salute. And your little sister, not to be outdone, stood silently
by your side with her little hand held over her heart. Remember?
What happened? I am still the same old flag. Oh, I have
added a few more stars since you were a little boy and a lot more blood has
been shed since those parades of long ago.
But somehow, I don't feel as proud as I used to.
Now when I come down the street, you just stand there with
your hands in your pockets. Oh, I may get a small little glance but then you
look away. I saw one man take off his hat and he looked around and saw that no
one else had theirs off, so he quickly put it back on. I see the children
running around, playing and shouting in the street. They don't even seem to
know who I am! Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore?
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what
I stand for and where I have been? Ploiesti, Normandy, Omaha Beach,
Guadalcanal, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan. Take a look
at the memorial honor roll sometime and look at the names of all of those who
never came back in order to keep this republic free – one nation under God.
When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.
Well, it won't be long now and I'll be coming down your
street again. So when you see me, stand straight and tall, and hold your right
hand over your heart. I'll salute you by waving back, and I will know that you
Courtesy of Shelley Shlapak, sister-in-law to S/Sgt. John Shlapak, 720th Squadron.