Rants My Way

This grand old Flag: what’s it worth?

The old carpenter shuffled slowly to the park bench.
He placed his wooden tool box reverently on the ground.
He had to put his hand on the bench to support himself,
While he lowered his creaking frame down to sit.

I went and saw The Last Airbender today in 3D and enjoyed it. I’ll do a review on it another day, as there was something that happened at the start that disappointed me. Prior to the curtain going up, the Johnny Cash version of Ragged Old Flag played over the sound system, followed by The Pledge Of Allegiance. While the theater was only about one third full, one would expect at least some to stand for it. I counted two of us standing with our hands over our hearts.

He surveyed the area, hoping to find a friendly figure
With whom he could converse, to pass the time,
But it was late November, and the park was empty.
And so it should be, he thought, so it should be

Maybe it’s the fact I’m a Vietnam vet, or that I just have a love of this country, but I think respect for that pledge, and what it stands for, should be synonymous with what this country stands for. With the hatred spewing from the pundits who call themselves Americans, and the hatred from those saying they’re not, I think the message of the pledge has gotten lost somehow.

A crow, with shiny black feathers, landed on the bench.
It cocked its head, and looked up at the carpenter
With an expression that brought to mind the words,
Have you been here before?

This country was founded with the blood of those who weren’t afraid to spill it for simply the idea of living free. And spill it they did, by the hundreds of thousands in wars we fought right here on our shores, and on the fields of countries where freedom was in jeopardy. Countries like England, France, Italy and many others. Thousands of American soldiers died on those fields, many to never return to these shores again.

Many, many times, the carpenter said to the crow,
Though his voice was silent as the long dead leaves
That were still scattered about the park’s broad expanse.
I have been coming here since ‘fore this place’s time.

But now it seems the hatred has spread to the point getting together and hashing out differences is seen as a weakness, and making political points is the norm. And it’s not just one party doing it; it’s all parties, be they Democrat, Republican, Tea, Independent, et al.

I am the carpenter. I am the one who built the Cross.
I am the one who watched on the mount as the man
They called Jesus was nailed to what I had built.
I am the one who helped Him down, and laid Him to rest.

That I saw only two people stand during the pledge speaks volumes as to the state of politics in this great nation. Its gotten to the point I wonder if this Republic hasn’t degenerated to the point it’s not working any more, and if there is anything we can do to bring civility back into the fold.

My penance for carving out the wood, and making the cross,
Is to wander the world until such time as I find that
I can forgive myself for what I have done.
I have many more years to wander, I fear.

And I ask myself as well, do we need to shed more blood on these shores to reinforce the beliefs our forefathers placed in The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights? And I tell myself, I don’t want to be alive to watch something as horrible as that. I don’t want to think for one second it would be necessary.

As the carpenter turned to gaze at the crow,
The bird gave a squawk, and flew off to seek less noisy things.
The carpenter looked again over the park with eyes
That contained no joy, no light…only the pain of ages.

So I ask you, is this country worth saving? Can we get together and make this country what it should be, without the hatred? Or am I spinning my wheels here over something lost, not to be found again. I know I’m guilty of bashing this political system on more than one occasion, but I’ve never hated what we stand for, nor hated people I disagree with enough to wish them harm in any way. I’ll say unabashedly I love this country, but I hate this hatred spreading like a cancer throughout our political system. It’s time we all stop and look at our neighbor, and regardless of what they believe in, understand they, too, are Americans, and that is something we can all be proud of. So I would ask you if you go the the movies, and they play The Pledge of Allegiance before the movie, stand, and show people you do care, and this country is worth it.

The old man slowly reached for his tool box.
He stood up, wincing at the pain it brought,
And shuffled down the park path towards places unknown.
The crow watched, with a coal black eye, from a barren tree.

July 7, 2010 - Posted by | Just plain patriotism

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