I woke up at 6:30am today, already annoyed. About napkins and plates. Yes, really. But let me explain.
Today, we’re going to my brother-in-law’s for a picnic to “celebrate” Memorial Day. There will be swimming (not for me), food, and music. But there will be no talk about the real meaning of today’s holiday. And there will be napkins and paper plates with the American flag on it.
I’m pretty sure that my Uncle didn’t fight (and die) in Vietnam so that we could wipe our mouths and eat off of the flag.
I’m not too terribly into politics, honestly. There are certain causes that I pay close attention to, but for the most part, I can’t stand political debates. Folks today are so caught up in being right and putting down others that the real issues get lost, and no one focuses on solutions and what really could work. I have no patience for that. But, I digress.
I love my country. It’s not perfect, but I think that’s, in part, what makes it so wonderful. I don’t consciously think of myself as a patriot, but I do try to show respect. I try to remember those who’ve come before us, who fought for what was right (or what they believed was right), and I think of future generations who will inherit what we build.
I understand that people show their patriotism in different ways, and that, again, is a wonderful thing about this country. The freedom we have to be ourselves (mostly). But I just can’t get behind using the American flag as a disposable paper product.
Today, I think of my Uncle Bobby, who was only 24 years old when he was killed in Vietnam. He was an artist. A teacher. Someone I would have loved to have known.