Friday, April 18, 2008

Faith Restored

Good news here!

For those of you have been following the whole flag debate, and I do appreciate all your support, there has been a new, gratifying development.

I still will not identify the young lady or her blogsite, because I truly do not want to stir up any trouble or hard feelings. But she contacted Cookie, one of our Vietnam vets, and they both have given me permission to post her email:

Cookie,
I've been debating whether or not to respond. While I could go on and on why I don't think I'm hiding behind recycling, or address any of the other hurtful things that have been left by commenters in the last week, instead I'll just say this: I am so thankful for veterans. I am so incredibly grateful for you -- that you were selfless and served our country. In no way were my bags intended to suggest otherwise. I realize you don't know me, but please know this: I am exceptionally patriotic. I love my country and am proud of it. I have served in the Peace Corps and as a government employee. I am regularly traveling internationally and try with all my might to leave others with a good impression of Americans. I simply didn't realize what an offensive move this would be for so many others.
This flag issue taught me a good lesson; while I still do not think I'm wrong, I will not take what the flag means for others for granted again. Things (items) do not hold sacred value to me. Instead, the meaning behind them do. And while I realize we fundamentally disagree on this point, I will repeat I did not intend to offend you or any other veteran by sewing with a flag.
Again, my thanks for serving our country and for voicing your views.


Now THIS is the young lady I thought I'd grown to know a bit. And I'm sure it won't change her life any should she read this, but I am very proud of her response. I will enjoy her blog again, because she reminds me so much of my own daughter,which is why I began reading in the first place.

Okay, so how do we educate our young people? This is what I wrote on another friend's blog:
I don't know where my generation has failed in teaching these young people respect for those symbols of our freedom. Maybe it was the whole shameful anti-war, Vietnam, Woodstock era, where draft cards, bras and flags were burned with abandon, and amorality was embraced that influenced what we taught--or didn't teach--our children.

After all, we baby boomer/flower children grew up pledging allegiance in the schoolroom every single day, some of us the offspring of WWII vets, so it's not as if we can plead ignorance.

Somehow the flag has become insignificant to many young people. The fact that one commentor said she had found a lot to think about in the posts makes me think we have failed to convey to them what our parents and grandparents instilled in us.

But if we older Americans must learn to be more environmentally conscious as evidence of patriotism, (and I think that is reasonable and timely) the younger Americans must learn to understand the symbols and traditions that represent our country.


Maybe the children of this generation, the ones whose parents have served in the military, a non-drafted military will come to understand what it meant to them to see our flag flying while they were on foreign soil, not knowing if they would ever return. These men and women have volunteered to be there, so they believe in what they do. For them, the flag must be a tangible representation of all they hold dear.

And please understand, I am not undermining the Vietnam vets, just because they were draftees for the most part. In fact, I apologize to them for the sorry reception they received as they came back from an unpopular war. I never want to see this happen again. I believe that, as Americans, a strong, free country, we have a responsibility to protect the underdogs of the world, the oppressed, those who cannot stand up for themselves. There will always be bullies in the world, and the victims will always need someone to fight for them and show them they are worth fighting for. And those champions must always be supported, must be thanked for what they do.

I mourn for those who won't come back. I grieve for their families. I don't want any of our people to die for what they do. But I don't see world peace ever happening, not with human nature being what it is.

Well, I have strayed from my original subject, and I apologize for rambling on.

Just wanted to thank this gal for what she has done for this country, too.

5 comments:

Pinky said...

Whew! I came over tonight to read up and grap the post link regarding the flag. I wanted to post about it, too. I'm so glad she came around and understood how offensive it was. Thank you so much for taking a stand, Stephanie. I still wish that she and some of her readers would acknowledge the importance of the flag itself, but this is a huge step.
It must be a weight lifted. :-)

Perry said...

Like Pinky, I intended to link to the article about this situation on my blog and spread it further. I still don't think the young lady has any inkling of the tragedy of her thinking, and is just apologizing because it is the politically correct thing to do. And I am also afraid she is probably in the majority of all of our young people, like those in their early 30's and down. It is a shame the draft isn't around anymore, it might make them not take our life for granted so much.

Stephanie said...

Link away, Perry, I am still open for opinions! I do believe the apology is real, based on what I have learned about her through her blog, though I am sorry she doesn't agree with some of us.

I'm not sure the draft is, or ever was, a good idea. I doubt these service people take our way of life for granted because they are volunteers, but I believe volunteers make for a better military. And I haven't done any reasearch, but seems most of them ARE under 30. It's just their peers here at home who don't seem to understand, but maybe when our troops come home, they can influence those readers far more than we can

MightyMom said...

ummm, well, I guess I'd be more impressed if she'd posted said "apology" on her blog instead of sending an email...as to the world at large she still hasn't said anything. So I'm reserving feeling relieved.

African Kelli said...

Good grief. The hurtful assumptions continue in these comments. Sometimes you cannot do right not matter what.