Nothing is quite so awe inspiring as to be on a military installation when Call to Colors is played. EVERTYHING STOPS! EVERYONE turns to the colors and most people salute. This event happens twice each day to remind us of WHY we are there. We are there not for some political agenda in Washington, not for some “national interest” around the world, but for the promise of America – “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Today is flag day and you may not hear the Call to Arms but take a moment to reflect on what this little piece of cloth stands for.
Patriotism is not a religion, although people have died for it. Patriotism is not about politics, although politicians will abuse us with it and attempt to hide behind it. Patriotism is a dream, often unfulfilled, of a community based on ideals, of a place where you are not fettered by who you are but are free to be who you yearn to be. Patriotism is an ideal and the flag is the symbol of that ideal.
The America of our ideals does not yet exist. It is the “shining city on the hill” TOWARD WHICH WE ARE STRIVING. We may never be able to live up to the ideal but it is in the striving toward “liberty and justice for all” that makes us Americans. We certainly have our faults, we have made huge mistakes in our past, but we stand by our friends and in the long-run we stick to our ideals. Maybe, just maybe, this noble experiment will succeed.
On Flag Day, take a moment. Stop and reflect on what this simple piece of cloth stands for and SHOULD stand for. Help us stay focused on the dream.