While discussing the war in Iraq, my daughter commented that most of her classmates do not support the war and do not support George W. Bush. They claim he lied and has ulterior motives for involving the United States in the war. Most of her teachers do not support the war or the President. These people all feel justified in not supporting our troops and not showing respect to our country because of the war.
We discussed patriotism and she mentioned that during one class each day at her high school, they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. She said that only she and a few other students recite the Pledge. The rest of the students either mock it or ignore it. How disgraceful.
One of the things that makes our country great is the fact that we have the freedom to make our own choices. Who bought that freedom for us? Who paid the ultimate price so that each one of us is free to make choices? What does it mean to be a United States citizen?
Whether the war in Iraq is justified or not is irrelevant when it comes to showing support and respect for our country and those who've fought for our freedom or are currently fighting for others' freedom. What is relevant, and quite apparent in my daughter's class, is the total disregard for our nation. The lack of respect for our flag and what it symbolizes is appalling. The war in Iraq, the Vietnam war, or any other war does not give license for apathy or opposition to the very foundation of our country.
While we speak of the ills that plague our society, we must include the rising generation's disregard for those things we've held sacred. How would a veteran, who served in a war to secure or protect our freedom, all the while believing that those of us at home were not only supportive, but grateful for his/her service, feel if he/she walked into a classroom of teenagers who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance? He/she would realize that many of today's youth think nothing of the sacrifices made in their behalf.
Whether we support the war or not, those who are putting their lives on the line deserve our respect, our admiriation, and our gratitude. They deserve to be remembered. They deserve to come home to a grateful country. And when they do not come home, they deserve to be respected. Go here for an emotional and beautiful tribute to today's soldiers:
**Everybody should see this. Please watch. Lizzie Palmer, who put this YouTube program together, is 15 years old. There have been over 3,000,000 hits as of this morning. In case you missed it, here it is.http://www.youtube.com/v/ervaMPt4Ha0&autoplay=1**
While we may disagree when it comes to politics, we must be diligent in not only showing respect for our country ourselves, but in teaching our children to do the same. Disagreement over political issues does not discount what our flag represents and what it means to be an American.