Every year after Christmas in newspapers around the globe are pictures of deserted Christmas tree lots, and residential shots of trees stripped of their glitter and dragged to curbside, where, forlornly, they await pickup by the local garbage truck. Oh, there may remain a whisper of glory–a flutter of tinsel or a hint of angel hair–but the precious ornaments have been boxed, the sparkling lights are disconnected, and the music boxes have been silenced. The Christmas tree is spent.
“Nothing more useless than a Christmas tree the day after Christmas,” someone has said.
Not so with the flag. Not so with the Red, White and Blue. Not so with the Stars and Stripes–the banner, the ensign–of the United States of America. Not so with that cherished piece of cloth that in itself has negligible value, but that becomes a storied tale of honor when pristine strength and gallant endurance is woven betwixt its threads.
Today, the 5th of July, within our enduring banner reposes all honor that reflected there at yesterday’s dawn and at dusk of evening. For our prized flag, today, the 5th of July, there is no place in the mud of gutter or in the decay of trash heap.
Today, the 5th of July, that amazing signal beats in the wind–an agent of hope and equity and freedom. Today, the 5th of July, with absolute assurance, flies the symbol of the greatest country on the planet. No stripping of agency, no negating of authority, no cowardice, no subjugation.
Today, the 5th of July, the day after our birthday celebration, where, across the land, we pull out all stops; where we march parades and mount long and loud speeches and grill our finest meats and launch our hottest firecrackers–today, the 5th of July, there is no cessation of flag waving, no poverty of spirit, no paucity of patriotism. The flag lives, the flag waves. There is none like it.
There is no place on earth like the United States of America, just no place. On this, the 5th of July, there are yet people who love this country and who willingly offer their lives for its hallowed truths.
Navy Seal Mikey Monsoor was one such gallant young man.
The flag is safe. The flag endures.
The voice of President Bush breaks with emotion as he awards posthumously the Medal of Honor to Mr. Mikey Monsoor.
My devotional blog is here.