Every time I think about flags I remember our feisty, patriotic, Grandma Ora. What a great teacher she was to me as I spent many growing up hours with her.
Today I drove past a half mast flag. It of course also prompted thoughts of the times in recent weeks our nation has been in deep mourning for those lost in radical acts of unexplainable violence committed by people who have lost all sense of conscience.
I thought about how much the world has changed since I was a child. In these short paragraphs it would be impossible to explain all the ways my secure, relatively safe, hometown was different from the world my grandchildren are facing today.
Numberless times I have said the Pledge of Allegiance or stood with my hand over my heart as the flag passed by since I was a child. There were school mornings, Scout and 4-H meetings, ball games, Fourth of July Parades, etc. Many frequent events of my life began by honoring our flag and country.
I would only summarize by saying, I believe my growing up years contained what I call the "American Golden Years" of morality and sense of responsibility. This was a time when Americans were safer, more dedicated to values of religion and family, and everyone I knew anything about was committed to freedom and justice for all.
My Grandparents were wise and strong. I could feel it as tangible as any physical thing. Grandma Ora and Grandpa Rex were educated from years hands on life experience; building, growing, creating, repairing, teaching, learning, thinking, participating, and worshiping and simply enduring through the challenges of their lives. She was a flag waving PTA President who supported strong education- a Democrat in a family of mostly Republicans who worried about taxes etc. (I'm pretty sure Grandpa Rex was a Republican :)
I remember my history lesson when Grandma Ora told me her feelings about the day Pearl Harbor was bombed in World War II.
Her words were, "Those fools! They don't even know what they have done. They have attacked red-blooded Americans on their own soil."
She was so right. The Japanese and most of the rest of the world did pay a very heavy price.
Today where I walked down the street, there are many American Flags flying. Great heroism has been displayed by so many engulfed by tragedy in the events of the past weeks and even years. And, I can say with surety, there are still plenty of courageous, red-blooded Americans, as Grandma would call them... ready to sacrifice for others and to stand up for what they believe and love.