These are the times that try mens souls…

Travel Trip Arlington Cemetery

This is the first line of a pamphlet titled “The Crisis” published by Thomas Payne on December 23, 1776.

Payne goes on to say, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

I believe that we are in a similar crisis today.

On July 4, 1775, The Declaration Of Independence, separated us from the English Crown. On that day we officially became a new nation, dedicated to liberty and justice for ALL.

On April 19, 1776, the first Revolutionary War battles were fought at Lexington and Concord Bridge. Concord Bridge is where as Emerson describes was fired “the shot heard round the world”.

Ever since that day we have been in a battle to assure that “the liberty and justice for all” would be a secure reality.

Liberty and Justice for All” is the dream of a nation possibly more varied and diverse than any other nation in all of recorded history. No other nation that I know of has striven to assure that rights, privileges, and dreams of all of it’s citizens.

Along the way, this nation has raised up men and women who have redirected us to this goal when we have gotten side tracked. Throughout these last 242 years individuals have arisen to steer us when we became selfish and decided we would have it the way we wanted. Most all had to overcome stiff criticism and ridicule, but they persevered and were able to see the dream begin to take shape.

Occasionally, along the way we have had setbacks, some have tried to drive wedges between us, trying to return to a society of classes, of us and them, trying to separate us by race. But then, a person comes along that brings us back on the original track.

What is the point, you ask? Refusing to respect the flag, and the anthem of the country is an attempt to destroy or at the least set back the progress of the country where dreams can come true. Maybe not yet and maybe not completely, but it’s so much better than it was.

You can’t disrespect those who love this country and who died to ensure this country becomes the best it could be, you can’t disrespect the symbols of the progress and the sacrifice of those who bought into this dream with their blood.

Who are they who sacrificed to bring this nation toward it’s dream?

Their blood is on every battleground where American’s have fought, not “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots”, but the farmers and shop keepers that froze to death at Valley Forge, or gave up their lives on hundreds of battlefields around the world.

And yes, those who were lynched in the south because they weren’t the right color. Their blood also served to buy freedom for their race and to condemn those who decided they had no right to the dream. Their blood has soaked into this ground and made it sacred. The flag, the anthem, and the reverance we have for those who who shed that blood is what guarantees that MLK’s “Dream” will prevail. If you “Wrap” yourself in that flag rather than desecrate and disrespect it, you will ”OVERCOME” and have those patriots that love the flag and the anthem serrounding you and cheering for you.

Bottom line; When you take the knee because of your belief that injustice rules, look at your own situation and know that the majority are on your side, but when you ridicule and disrespect the symbols of the country they love and have had a loved one bleed and die for you separate yourself from those who are could be your greatest friends

We are all family and residents of the same house (nation). A house divided against itself cannot stand!!!

United we stand, divided we fall, change to be strong and lasting must take place within. If you try to change your family from the outside, you destroy the exact thing you were trying to change.

So you want me to “go along to get along”? Can’t do that? Why? That’s what you’re demanding your team mates do!

Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.