The Stars and Stripes
Yesterday afternoon I stood on the edge of a middle school wrestling mat in a modified position of attention, right hand over my heart, gazing upward to the center of the gymnasium at our nation's flag as our national anthem played. I thought about the middle schools and other schools that do not play our national anthem, say the Pledge of Allegiance, or honor the flag in some other way before athletic competition. I thought about the schools that did not do this but now do simply because I asked them if they were going to play the national anthem. And I smiled. And then my thoughts turned to the flag itself and what it represents. The United States of America, progress, freedom, sanctuary... thousands upon thousands who have and will make the ultimate sacrifice...not for a flag or even this country but for what this country represents and for each of us. Please dwell on that for a moment or two, close your eyes and reflect on what our nation's flag means to you. Ask yourself, is that not worthy of three minutes of honor? And the next time a school does not take the opportunity to render that honor, please ask them to do so next time.