Saturday, August 9, 2008

Retiring the flag

I was born on an air force base in Montana. My brothers and sister (except for one) were born on an airforce base in Washington. My other brother was born on an airforce base in Taiwan. My husband, my brother, my Grandpa, a brother in law and a niece were all in the military. Back when I was pregnant with Q the flag made me cry just to look at it.
I love the fourth of July. I love patriotic songs and seeing men in uniform (women too, but the guys are more attractive to me.) I love the pride my husband has for the time he spent in the military and the stories from back in the day. I
remember living on base and hearing Taps each night as the flags were lowered.
The last night of scout camp we were invited to participate in a closing ceremonies of sorts. The last thing they did was retire two flags that had spent their time flying over the camp. They were ripped and torn and needed to be replaced. All of the veterans or those who were currently serving in the US military were invited down to help in this. They were passed the retired flags and at the end of the ceremony the flags were carried out to a floating fire and burned. I cried.
Then I got annoyed. Not by the ceremony, it was beautiful. Jeff appreciated being up there and I loved seeing him so proud of his time served. I was annoyed at the man sitting behind us. You see, we have a question asker. This particular son of ours will ask questions for DAYS on end, non-stop. And then remember the answer and spit it back to us at a future time. He didn't understand what was happening and instead of shooshing him as apparently the man with the group of rowdy kids behind us thought I should do, I explained. This was a learning experience that will probably not be experienced again for awhile and I refuse to let that pass by. In whispers I explained what was happening and why...and in 5 years when this kid gets to camp, I fully expect that he will remember every word and be able to share his knowledge with someone who doesn't have it. My boys need to know and appreciate not only the symbols of our country, but how to respect and care for them. They need to know what is going on in the world and why it is happening. Why? Because with a military type background there is every possibility I could have a son enter the service.
So, man with rowdy scouts, lay off and let my kids learn. There is NEVER an inappropriate question, perhaps the timing could have been better, but the best time to learn is when you are seeing it occur. Yes, his questions can be annoying, I more than anyone, realize this. However, his brain is huge and hungry for information that I plan to share with him to the best of my ability.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tina, that was beautiful! and well said!