The flag and respect

To the Editor: 

At the start of every parade, that I have ever seen has always been lead by the Flag of our United States of America, and accompanied by our Texas state Flag with two or more guards in attendance, the Color Guard.  But why do they lead the Parade? 

 When I was a young child, I asked my Great Grandmother this same question. She gave this answer to me.  The Flags lead the parade to show that this is the United States of America, we are it’s people, and the state flag shows that we are one of the great states of this union.  She went on to say that, the guards that carry the rifles were there to defend the flag as well as the Nation, and its entire people who have their homes upon the land.  They are there to defend us against oppression, tyranny, and all that would threaten our freedom.

I said, so that is why when the flag passes we stand, remove our hats, and place our right hand over our heart.  My Grandmother said no, the reason we stand and place our hand over our heart is for a much more important reason.  We do this simple gesture as a way to pay our respect to all those that will never be able to watch another parade with their families.  Those that gave there lives so freely that you and I could have the freedom to watch a parade, and the freedom to live our lives with liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.

In recent years, I have noticed an ever-increasing trend in my own community.  I have seen that people don’t seem to show respect to our Nations flag the way that I once saw it shown.  What is the reason for this I wonder?  We as a Nation certainly could not have paid back to all those people who have died over the history of the United States the life they gave.  What about those that are still sacrificing their life for us surely they have not been repaid.  It is after all a simple gesture, to stop and stand remove your cap or hat, place your right hand over your heart when you see the Flag of the United States of America, and remember the lives of all those who fell so that you could stand.

So, the next time you find yourself sitting along the parade route, or at any event that the Flag is presented, stop what your doing put away the cell phone, turn off the iPod, remove the earphones, remove your head gear, stand, put your right hand over your heart, and say Thank You for all you gave me.

 Michael D. Beard (The Bear)