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Flag Poem


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 the breeze.

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 do remember.

Courtesy of Shelley Shlapak, sister-in-law to S/Sgt. John Shlapak, 720th Squadron.

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