The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

November 11, 2013

Tribune Readers’ Views — Monday, November 11, 2013

What has happened to the United States?

“Shoot if you must this old, grey head, But spare your Country’s flag.”

These lines from a famous poem, “Barbara Frietchie,” by John Greenleaf Whittier, depicts the resolve of a 90-year-old woman during the Civil War to protect her home and flag from Confederate soldiers. Stonewall Jackson ordered, “March on.”

Today, I wonder how many Americans would be willing to have their head shot off to protect our flag?

On Saturday, (Nov. 2) I attended the Red Cross Craft Show at the Lewis Center. It was crowded, and as we made our way from one room to another, I was appalled when I saw our nation’s flag lying in a heap on the floor. It was at the Boy Scout booth. People were stepping on it, kicking it aside or stepping over it to get into the next room.

“That flag does not belong on the floor,” I said to the Scout leader. He and his assistant looked at each other, and he pulled me aside and explained that it was a test to see how many people would object to the disrespect it was receiving. The flag was going to be retired and was used in the test.

At the end of the ceremony, he told me that only three people objected. One picked it up and placed it on a chair, and I and one other voiced objection.

What has happened to our country that we no longer give a hoot what happens as long as we are not personally affected?

My late husband spent three years in a POW camp during World War II defending that flag and our country, and I am angered to see the lack of respect that people feel for our flag and our country in general. Granted, politicians have revolted all of us, but they are not our country — we the people are.

I still choke up with my hand over my heart as our National Anthem is being played or I sing “My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

My fellow citizens, when these old, grey heads are gone and the banner of a dictator or the anti-Christ flies overhead, you will yearn to see the Stars and Stripes one more time.

Ginny Cracraft

Oak Hill

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