[June 14, 2019] Today is Flag Day in the United States. As a military veteran, the date is important to me because it symbolizes what is good about our country, our history, and its free people. That may seem like an old-fashioned sentiment but it is exactly what it takes to maintain support for a strong military and the guts to ensure our servicemembers are given the tools they need to do their jobs.
Most American citizens neither care nor even notice that today is Flag Day. Do they simply take their freedom for granted? Yes. Do they even know what freedom means? The answer is probably not. I tell other military members and veterans that it doesn’t matter since our lives as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are dedicated to keeping all citizens free and that is what we do because we chose to do it.
Military personnel and veterans have sworn to a sacred duty to protect and defend our nation. Whether you live in the U.S. or the U.K. or Australia; it matters little where you hail from. Each citizen also has the duty to support those that defend them. Our political leaders have an obligation to insure this message of support remains strong and vibrant.
Today is a day of respect for the flag; also called Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, and Star-Spangled Banner.1 Why do we respect the flag? I could go into a long story about it but the real reason is simple; that the flag represents who we are as a group of people living in the United States.
The flag also says something about us and our values. Americans are generous people and defenders of the weak. We may disagree among ourselves and fight over stupid things but, when the tires hit the road, we stand side by side and take on any enemy who attempts to take freedom away from others.