As I'm sure you are all aware, last weeks tragedies have been browbeaten to death on this Forum. Every possible angle and point of view has been examined. I've interjected my $.02 here and there, but for the most part, stayed out of the discussions.
But that is neither here nor there nor is that the point of this post.
What I'd like to discuss here is symbolism and conformity and calling things for what they are.
I don't know about your town, but here in LA, it seems that out of nowhere, every other car and business is sporting an American flag. We are patting each other on the back and congratulating ourselves for our "unity", "solidarity", "patriotism", and so on.
I am a patriot myself. I don't feel the need to put on a show so that everyone else can see what a patriot I am. Being a patriot is something in the heart and soul. Not in the flag you buy for 99 cents or wearing the Old Glory tee-shirt you bought from the kid on the corner. I will not lower myself to the lemminglike conformity that I see that has been a knee jerk reaction to a situation that too many people don't understand. Now I don't mean to be a malcontent, but let's be honest folks.
How much patriotism is "REALLY" out there?
How many people fully understand the ramifications of what's at stake and what has happened? Most people I've talked to have the reaction of "wow man"...or "whoa...that's like bad what happened".
My guess is that their comprehension of this is dim at best. You don't have a group of people hijack 4 of OUR commercial airliners, fly them into two landmark skyscrapers, and respind to it by saying "wow man...I think I'll put a flag on my car."
This is serious stuff here.
How many people are flying their flags because they are proud, and how many people are flying them because it's the "in" thing to do at the moment?
I've read stories in the newspaper about how someones flag would fly off the car on the freeway and another person behind them would stop, pick it up, and flag down the other driver and hand it back to them.
This would NEVER have happened anytime before the disaster. Why are we pretending to be so polite now? Does anyone besides myself not believe that a month or two from now, it will be back to "business as usual" which means road rage, and everyone not giving a damn about everyone else. Slowly, but surely, these flags will start to disappear.
Anyway, I'm not really sure where I was going with this. If you want to fly your flag, great....fly it.
But do me, yourself, and our flag a favor......don't fly it simply because it's the 'cool' thing to do at the moment.
Fly it because you ARE proud...because you REALLY do feel the pain of all those people...because the sight of a flag at half mast DOES bring tears to your eyes.
And if you're inclined to be polite and patriotic, don't stop when the flags come down.