My Great Uncle Mel Dalton was a WWII veteran who served in the US Marine Corps on the USS California. My Uncle was a truly great man who served his country at great personal sacrifice to himself and his family. He loved America with his whole soul and he understood firsthand those sacrifices made by so many to grant to us the precious freedoms this country has given us.
When my Uncle died last year and I was privileged to be able to be there at his funeral and graveside service where the few remaining WWII veterans did a 21-gun salute in honor of his service to this great nation followed by one of them playing Taps on the bugle. It was a sacred experience to witness and one I will never forget. Seeing the America Flag draped across his casket touched me to my core.
As I stood at his graveside looking at the American Flag draped across his casket I vowed I will never allow myself to look another American Flag without remembering all the men and women who gave their lives for this great nation. I’ll never take for granted how blessed I am to be an American and how much I owe to those who founded this country, who serve this country, and who have died for this country. It is because of them I have the freedoms that I do.
With Fourth of July weekend coming I decided to re-read some of my Great Uncle’s journal and wanted to share something he’d written:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America is a pledge of loyalty to our country. Our flag is red, white and blue. You see it against grey clouds on winter days, in your classrooms, in your homes and places of worship.
This flag is yours today because your forefathers fought for it. Some gave their lives that it might wave over this land. Our flag is far more than a piece of cloth; it is a living symbol of America. It stands for the past, the present and the future of this land.
It stands for the men and women who built America with sweat and blood. It stands for the pilgrims and for pioneers building homes in the wilderness. It stands for Washington fighting for a new nation. It stands for Lincoln holding our nation together.
The stripes tell of the thirteen states that gained our liberty. Its stars tell of more than 270 million free people in the United States of America; working and fighting to keep that liberty for them and for generations to come.
Next time you pledge allegiance to the flag think of these things; promise yourselves that each time you see it you will remember what it stands for.
Because of what if stands for you will show respect by handling and displaying it in a proper manner.”
Remember what it stands for.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )