Category Archives: Veterans Day

The Flag and Freedom

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right ~Peter Marshall Gary, South Dakota is the kind of community Norman Rockwell may have used as inspiration for a painting with picturesque surroundings, historic buildings and friendly people. The small town swells with pride and people during its annual flag waving July 3rd and 4th  Celebration.

Our local American Legion and Legion Auxiliary organizations are made up of proud, selfless individuals who support our community, especially the youth, through summer baseball/softball programs as well as a Junior Legion Auxiliary organization. You will find these people volunteering their time at community events, parades, Veteran funerals, playing taps, etc.  Click on the link for a history of the Peden-Cole American Legion web page thanks to the American Legion Centennial Project.

Much controversy has revolved around a professional football player kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color. This is his right… Maybe it was an efficient way to bring attention to his cause and he’ll go down in history books as some sort of hero. Or, maybe it backfired and came across as being selfish, bringing negative attention to his team.  So much publicity involved not respecting the flag and the United States that it may have taken away from the actual purpose of his protest.  Our country is all about standing up for what you believe in, but needs to be done in a way that conveys the actual point you wish to make.  And above all, be kind.



Regardless of  political leanings to the left, right, or anywhere in between, we expect American citizens to show respect to those in uniform. This has not always been the case.

Flashback to the Vietnam War era.

vietnam plaqueThe G.I.’s returning home from the unpopular Vietnam Conflict, during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, were protested and threatened when wearing uniforms in public.  It was even necessary to hide their tell-tale haircuts when in civilian attire.  Most were barely out of high school when they were drafted and quietly arrived home, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.

This is a personal issue in my household. My husband enlisted into the military at age 17 during the era of draft numbers and Vietnam. He was on military flights that had to be gated off from the public, upon landing, due to anti-war protests. In the United States, they tried to hide their military identity when engaged in activities off base for their own safety.  During military leaves and upon returning home to the Midwest, he remembers going to area dances only to have individuals against the Vietnam war wanting to inflict physical harm because of his service.  Not much of a welcome home.

Now military service is acknowledged  with send-off ceremonies and welcome home celebrations while families at home have access to a network of support groups.  Challenges still exist as war is never pretty, popular or pleasant, but at least we are not adding to the stress. Vietnam veterans can’t help but think, where was all this when I returned?

Serving for the future
Serving for the future