July 4th brings back a flood of memories for me.
I was brought up in a very patriotic family. My father served in WWII and was a flag waving democrat. He cried when JFK died, woke us up when Bobby was shot and never understood all the fuss over Viet Nam.
And he loved the 4th of July. This was America’s holiday. The flag went outside early and stayed out late. We had a very large, very old cloth American flag. It was proudly and properly rolled in our hallway closet. And on Memorial Day, Flag Day and especially Independence Day – my father would take great pride in unrolling it and placing it outside for all to see.
Growing up, we lived on a fairly main road. And when ever our town had a parade – it would pass right past our front door. For years, I proudly marched by my father’s side in our Memorial Day parade. I carried a flag in an Independence Day parade. And every year we would have a huge cookout in our back yard and the parade went past the front. And that giant old flag proudly waved in the summer breeze for all to see. This house is proud to be an American.
I’m sad to say, I don’t know what happened to that flag.
When my parents moved out of the house, the flag disappeared. Maybe it was too old and too tattered to be saved. Perhaps my father bought a new one. Perhaps it’s still in the house – being used by the new owners. But the flag is gone.
Now I have a flag. It’s new. It doesn’t have the same history. And it’s rolled up proudly in my front hall closet. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t put it out yesterday. I don’t know why – I had plenty of time to do it. I think it’s because this flag doesn’t have the same history for me as the old one. But that’s just an excuse. I think I have to change that thinking – and start some history of my own.
Next year – the flag goes up early and stays out late. It’s the least I can do for my father.
Happy July 4th.