Pictured above is Memorial Park which sits high above Andrews, NC, the very heart of Appalachia. The tradition in these USA and here in town is to lower the American Flag to half mast at sunrise. Mind you, this is a rebellious tradition wrought not by any groups or the town of Andrews itself, but rather of individuals who rightly have a sense of patriotism and lively respect for those who gave their lives for us. These individuals have, on their own dime, supplied the large size American Flag. Since they were preoccupied on Memorial Day, yours truly went up to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and some prayers for the honorable fallen and their families.
Those who could and would carry on the tradition were not available this year, and the town, I suppose, has been forbidden to schedule official ceremonies by insurance companies and lawyers trying to bow to the ridiculous, humiliating, oppressive, anti-Constitutional policies of the powers that be in this State of North Carolina. Personally, I cannot abide cancelling honor. I can’t.
By the way, the POW-MIA flag is also put at Half-Mast, as so many of our veterans died as POWs and so very many of our MIAs have, by this time, died…
After this, it was up to the cemetery to pray for the dead there, mostly teenagers by the way. Check out the dates on this tombstone: just 16 years old…
I was born in 1960. In 1976, when I was sixteen years old, a Sophomore in High School, I signed up for whatever state of affairs the draft had fallen into. A super-interesting article on conscription, the draft, selective service, who and what and when, is found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States. Keep in mind that the Paris Peace Accords had already been signed three years earlier in January of 1973, officially ending our involvement in Vietnam, though the fall of Saigon, actually ending everything, wasn’t until the Spring of 1975. The nice gentleman took my application but said that no one would be contacting me at this point. Too many politics were at play. I thank James above, and all those who gave their lives.
The flag had also been put at Half Mast at Holy Redeemer Church. The flags are meant to go Full Mast right at Noon. I left instructions at the church that our Noon Mass would be delayed by ten minutes, as I would be busy with the flags up in Memorial Park, but that they were to gather at the flag in front of the church for prayers for the dead and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the Flag was to be put up to Full Mast. This they were happy to do.
I couldn’t resist also getting the history of these two guys from Andrews…
Our POTUS has an amazing speech, very touching, at Fort McHenry. If you want to know something about our Flag, watch this:
If anyone is offended by the Flag, go and read this post I wrote, which has been visited by pretty much every grade school, middle school, high school, college, university and specialized institute, as well as by so many in our armed forces and all sorts of branches and bureaus and offices of government, right up to the top:
National Anthem: Star Spangled Banner – Meaning of “hireling and slave”
But in case anyone is too entitled not to learn something, or is afraid of Whitney Houston, I include this all below:
The Star Spangled Banner is misunderstood and is rejected by many as our National Anthem.
Fake news about it continues. Let’s do some analysis:
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
The lyrics were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Baltimore fought against the Brits’ Royal Navy in 1812. The Brits just wouldn’t let it go, and had to engage again, and so lost again, almost thirty years after the end of the Revolutionary War. The Royal Navy would enlist mercenaries, the “hirelings” mentioned in the third verse, and enslave Prisoners of War to fight for them as well, the “slaves” mentioned in the third verse.
Why do I insist on this having nothing whatsoever even remotely to do with black African slaves when Key himself was a slave owner who lived long before the American Civil War? Because of the purpose of the song and what it is describing, that is, a particular night of battle in the harbor of Baltimore against the Royal Navy in which hirelings and slaves were employed in the battle by the Royal Navy, surely other Brits or POW American military.
Even if a tiny percentage of these hirelings and slaves happened to be black Africans, possibly most recently from the United States, the mentions of those hirelings and slaves wouldn’t refer to any previous status of slavery, but only to the slavery imposed by the Royal Navy on any POWs. To win this battle in Baltimore, there would be no interest in going to, say, Mississippi, and killing hirelings and slaves. To hold that to be the meaning of the words is simply ridiculous.