Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Sad Day for the Flag

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.” (Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC)
The above quote carry potent meaning for the men and women who have served, are serving, and thinking about serving. It had been quoted on every Veteran Day, every Memorial Day, and many memorial services for our fallen soldiers. But soon the House of Representative will strip it of all meaning. They will introduce a constitutional amendment banning the desecration of the US flags. It is a sad day indeed. Our fallen heroes did give their lives so that other maybe free to abuse the very symbol that they love; that what make them special and dear. That is why they are heroes.

Our Congress fails to understand that our flag cannot be desecrated. As if it is possible to demean the American spirit. No amount of burning, stepping-on or any other physical abuses can destroy the spirit of our flag. It symbolic and enduring value is that it represent freedom, – even freedom to abuse it. The spirit of Freedom cannot be destroyed by physically burning a flag. But it can and will be destroyed when it is taken away by a constitutional amendment. Congress in an attempt to save the physical flag kills its spirit.


Blogger Buster said...

Your sentiments are understandable. The whole premise behind freedom is the willingness to tolerate acts whether they are to your liking or not. It does not mean you condone an act, it does not mean you appreciate the act, it does not mean you agree. The simple fact is that the government must exist to provide and protect these freedoms. Laws like these don't protect, they instill fear and moves us closer to a demon-o-cracy. Many of the signs that we see now they saw in ancient Rome before its domination of Caesar. I hope history does not repeat itself.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Ivan Martinez (Proudly Colombian) said...

freedom? what the f*** are you talking about?
I went to the states in 1990, by that time I was 11 years old and I was very shocked to find out that pretty much everything is forbiden in that country which was presented to be as a dream for everybody around the world (Luckily I grew up and started reading "reality" and then I realized what a hell hole that country is...). I remember very clearly when I was passing by a small creeck and there were signs everywhere saying that fishing was forbiden... you don't live in freedom, you live in one of the most represive countries around the world and the saddest thing is that you still believe the crap that your government tells you.
Saying USA is the land of freedom is probably one of the biggest lies ever said... kind of the same b*ll Sh*t that was used to validate the war on Irak.
Come on people WAKE UP

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The clueless Mr. Martinez proves your point.

Sissy Willis

8:32 AM  
Anonymous E.M.H. said...

In response to Ivan Martinez, Proudly Colombian's post above: I am an immigrant to the United States, and a majority of the families my family befriended here were immigrants too. We all have our criticisms of this nation, and some of them are far from being minor (many members of said family friends are against the war in Iraq, for example), but NOT ONE of them - and I'm talking over 30 close immigrant family members and well over 200 people if you simply extend to three degrees of separation among friends of the family -- has had any criticisms even remotely close to what you're saying. "Pretty much everything is forbidden"? Such as what? Alcohol on Sundays (that’s the law in my current resident state of Indiana)? Speeding? Prostitution? Yes to all of those, but two of them are crimes, and one is hardly repressive (make sure you've bought enough beer on Saturday to last through Sunday). Please enumerate what exactly is "forbidden", please. Is the "no fishing" sign on the creek your only piece of evidence? One creek? Did you try to find out why it may be forbidden there? Possibly the water was contaminated? Or it was private property? Did you even try to question why? Determining the state of freedom in a country requires more than just reading "reality" and finding one, small isolated example to buttress that argument. Critical thinking about the totality of what the country is and what it offers its citizens is what’s needed. Isolated experiences devoid of the context for why they exist are insufficient arguments.

Also, about your "reality": Funny you should put that into quotes. What reality exactly have you read? "How to Read Donald Duck" by Dorfman? "Manufacturing Consent" by Chomsky? "The Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader" by Moore for his movie? What have you read that convinces you this country is a "hell hole"? I can point out authors from all the way back to the post colonial days (de Tocqueville) to the writer of this current blog who say otherwise, the exact opposite in fact. What exactly comprised your "reality" reading list? And even if it contradicts any writers I can come up with (Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Friedman, just to name two contemporary columnists off the top of my head), who's to say your authors' points of view are more valid? In the spirit of debate, I'll allow that they may in fact be, but I don't see any arguments from you to convince me of that.

You said: "you live in one of the most repressive countries around the world". Really? We do? Tell me, then: When did election officials come and hold someone in my family hostage to ensure I vote "correctly"? Listed to the recordings on the internet relating to the charges of election fraud in my native country of the Philippines, then tell me which country has the more repressive government. And keep in mind that the folks in Manila pale in comparison to kleptocrats and dictators in other countries like Zimbabwe (Mugabe… good grief, what can I say? For all her faults, give me GMA (President Gloria Macapugal Arroyo) any day). I don't remember Washington taking farms away from one racial group to distribute them to another. So which one's more repressive? When, for example, did this country’s government roll over and accept the existence of a murderous independent political group that dictates policy to it and fights its own independent wars within this country’s borders? For everyone bitching about the NRA's influence (or big business, or big oil, or auto manufacturers, or military contractors), even if you hate them, you MUST admit each one of those groups are light-years away from being Hammas in Lebanon. Not. Even. Close (Unless you're ignorant; then you can compare them all you like). When did this country's government compel its citizens to hold mass demonstrations for policies in its favor? I point to Castro's orchestrated gatherings way back in the Elian Gonzales case as well as Syria's failed attempt at counter-demonstrations during the "Cedar Revolution"; bloggers everywhere pointed out that many pro Syrian attendees were in fact Syrian themselves, and for the small percentage that was not, they weren't Lebanese either. At any rate… when did this country do all that? What examples do you have of US government oppression of its citizens? The Patriot Act? I have my problems with the law too, but 1) How does that compare to just the points above, let alone true repression (like of the Christians and Animists in Sudan, or the repression of non-ruling clan members in Somalia)? And 2) What about the mitigating effect of the ACLU, the press, the elected government officials, et. al., many of who are fighting said statute? And 3) You still get your day in court under the Patriot Act. Do the oppressed in other countries get theirs? What examples of repression can you list? And beware singling out straw man examples like the Patriot Act. Even if we accept that as a valid example, and it’s admittedly arguable as such, one isolated point does not prove the broad existence of oppression.

My goodness... I can go on and on... at any rate, Mr. Martinez, Proudly Columbian, sir, I offer you a challenge. Can you enumerate specifics for your assertations? Can you give me more examples of what's "forbidden", aside from that fishing hole? Can you list what exactly you've read in your "reality" that makes this country a hell hole? Can you cite examples of "repression", please? Can do offer anything besides accusations which are devoid of context? I'll revisit this blog at a later date to see if there's any response.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Patrick E. Walsh said...

Mr. Minh-Duc, My most recently arrived ancestor got off the boat about a hundred years ago, welcome home. If you are ever in Pittsburgh, look me up. I'll buy the first beer.

Mr. Martinez, Sorry you don't like what we have to offer. Don't let the screen door hit you on tukis on the way out. See, if you're a citizen (foreign born or not) you get a vote, if not, you can stay or leave as you wish. See ya later, have a nice life.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog enjoyed it :)

Keep up the excellent work! and i bookmarked u!

so cant wait for ur next post! :)


4:16 AM  

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