To The Reader's Forum:
As a member of the U.S. Navy, imagine my anger and sadness when I woke up Sunday morning to realize that vandals stole the lighting out of the ground that illuminates my flag throughout the night. Do you have no respect? I am not talking about respect for my property. I am talking about respect for what that flag symbolizes. Obviously you don't, because if you did you would not have done it.
That flag symbolizes freedom. Freedom to make our own choices and live our own lives without anyone interfering. Yes, that flag even gives you the right to have a choice to be destructive. Do you realize in some countries if you were caught, your punishment would have been having your hand cut off?
That flag represents hope. Hope for the millions of people all over the world that yearn to someday live a life as we do and enjoy the freedoms that so many of us take for granted. If you think I am exaggerating travel to the Middle East sometime.
That flag also represents the thousands of soldiers and sailors who are defending your freedoms right now and ensure that you can go to bed at night knowing that you will wake up safe because they are defending this nation.
Most importantly, that flag represents the thousands of men and women who have gone before us and given up their lives defending what that flag represents.
I have a 6-year-old son who has more respect for that flag then you do. It was my 6-year-old who reminded me that the flag would have to be lowered at night because we no longer had lights for it. As dusk approached, my son stood by my side and saluted that flag as I lowered it. I did not tell him to do that. He just knew. At 6 years old, my son understands something, it's just a shame that you obviously do not.