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As Flag Day nears, some lament loss of respect for Old Glory



Published: Sun, June 13, 2010 @ 12:21 p.m.

By WILLIAM K. ALCORN

alcorn@vindy.com

“Stars and Stripes.”

“Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Red, White and Blue.”

“Old Glory.”

By whatever name the American flag is called, those who love it say it is a symbol of the freedoms they have in the United States and a reminder of the sacrifices made to preserve those liberties.

Tears well up in their eyes, and they get lumps in their throats making it difficult to put into words what the flag means to them and the images it evokes in their minds.

Monday is National Flag Day, established by Congress in 1949 to commemorate the adoption of the U.S. flag.

Perhaps the best-known image involving the U.S. flag is its raising by five Marines and a Navy corpsman on Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. Three of the men in Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer prize-winning photo were killed in the battle.

When Karyn Frederick looks at the flag she thinks of her father, Atty. Harry Frederick, who served in the Navy during World War II in the South Pacific.

Frederick, executive director of the Mahoning County Medical Society, flies the American flag all year near a light by the garage at her Canfield home.

Harry Frederick, 17 when he joined the Navy, was a member of the American Legion and was part of the color guard that marched in holiday parades.

“We were aware of the flag growing up because dad was a veteran, and he loved it so much and taught us love of country and flag,” Karyn said. “I was brought up to believe that you can be nothing greater than a patriot, and to serve our country is the greatest honor.

“I think that is so lost today. I’m so sad that the flag doesn’t have the same effect on people ... that they don’t have the same reverence for flag and country. We don’t pay enough attention to the people who serve.”

There is nothing prettier than driving past Canfield East Cemetery when the flags decorate the veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. “It’s so beautiful,” she said.

William “Bill” Lusk, who served in the Army from 1966 to 1968, including a tour in Korea, said he is amazed that people don’t take their hats off when the American flag passes by in a parade.

“But, if kids aren’t taught, how are they going to know, said Lusk, warehouse manager for Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com, along with information on the proper handling of the American flag.


Comments

1paulydel(1328 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

And yet some so called loyal Americans wantt to give this country away to the illegal aliens that continue to cross our borders everyday and spend our US dollars on other countries goods while we have millions of American workers out of work. As a veteran of 26yrs in the service I am discusted with the lack of fight in the pride of our country. Happy Flag Day.

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2AXLE69(181 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

It disgust me when I see these teabaggers flying the flag upside down at their rallies.Of course that is their right but don`t go around calling yourself pro-American patriots when you do.

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3300(562 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm happy that the flag means less and less to people. It's the people in this country that make it great, not the government or its nationalistic symbolism.

It's not that I'm against the flag, I just see many people using it as an easy way to pretend that they're more patriotic than the next. Such strong adherence to national symbols leads to fascism, and we can already see signs of that with some on the right who appear to have more allegiance to the flag than they do to each other.

To me, the flag doesn't stand for anything inherent. What's good about us are our common ideals, not shallow symbolism.

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4TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Nicely said 300.

While driving by a cemetery and seeing all those flags is beautiful to some, it's tragic to others.

I'm definitely a loyal American, and I abide by flag etiquette all the time. (I was a good cub scout)

But too often, people confuse the lack of flag etiquette with disdain for the ideals of the flag. Patriotism is more loosely defined than many would have us think.

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5Conservatism_Will_Prospers(91 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

The first comment "And yet some so called loyal Americans wantt to give this country away to the illegal aliens that continue to cross our borders everyday and spend our US dollars on other countries goods while we have millions of American workers out of work" is so far from the truth. WWI thousands of Italian immigrants fled to the United States only to fight against their father countries! Immigrants built the first industrial revolution in 1920's before the prohibition caused a depression. The reason that immigrants flock to this country is because they know how great it is to be an American!

Also it is amazing to see how such a powerful article was immediately spun to attack a political agenda. This article is correct, most people are loosing the much needed respect for America that is deserved! I watched the Columbus Clippers play the Winchester Rockets on Friday night. The game opened up with the national anthem and as I stood there with my hand on my heart, I could not help but to have tears flowing through my eyes as I thought of all of the soldiers that are fighting while I am watching a baseball game. This Nation needs to get a grip go back to the principals that it was founded on!

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6khaos(8 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree that the lack of respect is because it was not taught and now it's too easy to blame it on lack of respect for the government. However, the flag doesn't represent the government. It represents the Constitution and the rights it gives us. The rights that many in this world would love to have.

It's not shallow symbolism. That illusion is created by the "patriotic" that spew hate to anyone that doesn't think like they do. The irony is that a country based on freedom has so many "patriots" wanting to eliminate it.

That's what the flag represents to me. Freedom. That I'm lucky to be a citizen of a country founded on the ideal that all of its citizens should be free. Too many people today take that freedom and their rights given to them by the constitution for granted.

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