Old Glory. The name invokes thoughts of the destiny God has planned for free people.
As children we bought cardboard drums full of green plastic soldiers and toy tanks. The exposed roots of the big yellow poplar in the front yard made a perfect landscape in which the fate of the world was decided.
Image Titled “Toy Soldiers In Silhouette” & is a studio recreation of a childhood memory.
We made little forts and buildings from rocks and sticks found under the tree and wild clay that we harvested from the edge of field. Paper airplanes made bombing runs across the field of battle and the good guys always won. At the end of the day all of the men on both sides were carefully gathered up and returned to cardboard drum to be put away until the next time they were needed to save the world. But plastic doesn’t bleed. At the time that I was playing these games men and women were coming home from Vietnam. Some with all their scars on the inside. My grandfather was a veteran of World War Two who lived the rest of his days with the shrapnel that sent him home still embedded deep in his body. Looking back I remember that far away look on his face as he watched us play with the toys.
One day out of the year our culture asks those of who are civilians to thank our veterans for their service and give them a well deserved handshake. Perhaps buy a cup of coffee and have conversation. But what about tomorrow? Or six months from now? When I consider the sacrifice made by our nation’s finest I have to believe that it deserves more recognition than one day out of the year. There are plenty of veterans who just need a buddy to check on them from time to time and talk about fishing or sports or anything. The World War Two generation is swiftly marching into eternity with Korean and Vietnam vets bringing up the rear. If you truly want to thank a vet then become a part of their life. I believe that you’ll find out that a relationship with a true friend is the best form of thanks. Our finest citizens deserve more than to be put away into a box until the next holiday.
The last thought is concerning retired cannons. The long and the short of it is that the tradition comes from a time when warriors signaled peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a way that rendered them useless. When the cannon was developed it was only capable of one shot and so emptying the bore by firing a shot into the air signalled peace since it makes the cannon useless. Today we’ll find artillery in parks and memorials that usually filled with concrete transforming a weapon of war into a symbol of peace.
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