I am, by my own admittance, not a huge fan of Johnny Cash, but more a fan of ‘newer country’ singers and music. However, as I was driving around running errands yesterday, and channel hopping as I am prone to do, I happened upon a song called ‘Ragged Old Flag’. I sat in a parking lot with goosebumps on my arms and chills running down my spine as I listened….captivated by the
words, the meaning behind them, his voice.
I seldom voice my opinion on politics, or how I feel about this country we are leaving our children. ..and our children’s children….but as I listened to Mr. Cash, I realized….I am afraid. I am afraid that riots and violence and mass shootings have become so much ‘the norm’ that we are no longer shocked to hear of their occurances. I’m afraid because our political races have become a stage for bullies, theatrics and schoolyard antics and suddenly the issues and what should matter to those running, the media, and the average citizen is left in the dust, and somehow isn’t even missed. I am afraid because we put athletes on a pedestal and call them ‘heroes ‘ , while the real heroes, our Veterans, suffer and live on the streets.
I am afraid that this country my Grandfathers, my Father, and now my youngest son (along with so many others) have sworn oaths to protect is no longer a country worthy of their devotion, service and protection. I am afraid that we have become a weak and pathetic nation full of people who expect handouts, trophys, raises, free rent and luxuries handed to them without ever lifting a finger or even appreciating what they have been given.
And I am sad…I am heartbroken that these thoughts even cross my mind, that it occurs to me that I might be ashamed of the country I love, of what we are doing to each other, and at how far backwards it seems we have fallen.
But I cannot give in to that fear or the sadness. I cannot forget how many have sacrificed their lives for this country. ..for our freedoms. I cannot forget how far we have come. I will not forget what that Ragged Old Flag stands for. …and I will never stop loving or believing in The United States of America.
At the end of the day, all I can hope and pray for is that I am not the only one concerned, that I am not the only American ready to stand together and fight for the America we used to know…to say enough is enough. In my heart I know there are many of us stretched across this beautiful country. ..perhaps we just need to find our voice again.
God bless America, God bless it’s people, and God bless that Ragged Old Flag.
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