On being politically correct

As you read this we have just commemorated the 75th anniversary of D Day and celebrated the nation’s 243rd birthday on July 4th. In our community the Boy Scouts put flags out along the streets on national holidays. It’s a great tradition and Barbara and I have a flag which once flew over the Capital Building and we place it on a standard at the front of our home on national holidays.

You often see people who fly their flags or put flags as their bumper stickers. I’ve often wonder about their patriotism. I’d like to know how much time any of us spend in making this country work. How many of us voted in the last election? How many of us write our elected officials to let them know how we feel? How much time do we spend informing ourselves on political issues, rather than having a knee jerk reaction to immigration or whatever the current hot button issue is. I’d like to know who among us participate in the political activities of our precinct. Do we, at the very least, read about the views and the records of the candidates we are going to vote for.

Fewer than 35 per cent of our fellow citizens voted in the last presidential election.

This is a very tough criterion, you see. For if those of us who claim to love our country would judge ourselves by these standards alone, undoubtedly the vast majority of us would have to admit that the love we’ve shown for our country has been precious little.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

It was no idle pledge.

Nine signers of the Declaration died of wounds during the Revolutionary War. Five were captured and imprisoned, in some cases with brutal treatment.

The wives, son, and daughters of other were killed, jailed, mistreated, persecuted, or left penniless. One was driven from his wife’s death bed and lost all his children.

The house of 12 signers were burned to the ground. Eleven lost everything they owned.

Every signer was proscribed as a traitor; everyone was hunted. Most were driven into flight; most were, at one time or another, barred from their families and homes. Most were offered immunity, freedom rewards, their property of the lives and release of loved ones if they would break their pledged word and seek the Kings’ protection. Their fortunes were forfeited, but their honor was not. No signer defected, or changed his stand, through the darkest hours. Their honor, like the nation, remained intact.

Such is our heritage. Such is the implication of displaying the flag. Such is the true definition of patriotism