Flag Day by Gina Worthen
One of my favorite images is the iconic photograph of the U.S. Marines struggling, reaching, pushing to raise Old Glory on Iowa Jima during WWII.
Another favorite is the three N.Y. firefighters raising the Stars and Stripes at Ground Zero, amid the devastation of 9-11.
Yes, Old Glory has been with us through triumphs and tragedy. She has flown on the moon. Marched with suffragettes and civil rights leaders. Draped the caskets of presidents and servicemen and women alike who gave their last full measure of devotion. She flies over our schools, and behind our judges and legislative bodies. We post her on our porches on the 4th of July – Independence Day. She inspires us. She comforts us.
Just like she did for Francis Scott Key the morning of Sept. 14, 1814, during the War of 1812. All the night before, the British had bombed Fort McHenry – some 1,800 bombs! In the early morning light, Key strained to find our flag. Yes! There she was! Defiantly, courageously, the Banner of the Free boldly flew over the fort. Seeing it, Key penned the words that became our National Anthem, asking, “Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave? O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Today I also ask, does she?
It’s up to us.
She is what we make her.
While it’s true she symbolizes the truths and standards of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it is up to us to preserve those rights we are endowed with by our Creator – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is up to us “to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.”
Our hearts, and the flame of liberty that burns within, are the very fabric of our beloved flag.
Let her remind us to cherish freedom, and to be grateful to God for the liberty he has blessed us with. Let us always give our best to America.
May the Banner of the Free triumphantly wave forever, and may God continue to bless America.