Saturday, July 4, 2009

Patriotism-Happy Holiday

By Keith Fisher

Sorry, I went camping and didn't get this posted this morning. Hope Your holiday was great.

For several years now, I’ve attended the Orem Summerfest Parade. It’s always fun. It’s held in the evening, and I don’t have to bake in the sunshine.

In all the years, there are a few parades that stand out. One, in particular, back in the nineties, sticks out in my mind. When the flag passed, me, my friend, and maybe six others, were the only ones who stood up. With my hand over my heart, I wondered what happened to patriotism?

I was equally disturbed right after 911, when the number of those standing increased. I couldn’t help but wonder where all the new patriots came from? Wasn’t it just as important to stand before?

There is a new twist, now. A civil war reenactment group marches down the road with a flag, and they fire their black powder rifles. Its great having them there, but one of them, dressed in an officers uniform, draws his saber and points it at spectators. He commands them to remove their hat or stand up. He is reminding people to show respect by commanding them at the point of a sword.

I like to think he doesn’t realize what he’s doing. One day, I watched him threaten a man who doesn’t speak English. The man was visiting his children from South America. Clearly that man didn’t understand. Besides, isn’t it true, that in the USA I have a right to not stand?

Patriotism is like belief in Deity. It comes from a place in the heart. It can’t be forced any more than faith in God can be. There is a very sweet, almost spiritual moment when I stand for the flag and put my hand over my heart. I hope everyone feels the same, but allegiance that is forced, is not patriotism.

Have a happy Independence Day. If you go to a parade, stand up when the flag passes by. I think you’ll like it. If someone threatens you with a dangerous weapon . . . well, consider the source.

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.


L.T. Elliot said...

I love your posts Keith and I'm so proud of you for standing and honoring our flag. Thank you for honoring our country with this post and reminding us that our freedoms are just that--free.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I couldn't agree more, Keith. Our country is free - free to appreciate our freedom, and free to ignore it. It may drive me crazy when those around me choose to remain seated or do not put their hands on their hearts, but our veterans fought for all kinds of freedom, and the freedom to be oblivious was one of those freedoms.