Once in a life time moment, ruined by ignorance

I know this post isn’t specifically about any sites or company we’ve visited, but we were all a part of history today and it needs to be recognized as such.

We all know how important today, January 21, 2013 was. The inauguration of our 44th president, a man who deserves respect whether we like him or not. I had such high hopes going into today, a chance to be a part of history, to witness such a great part of being a free country. It was until today while standing in the freezing cold amongst a crowd of people waiting to get into the gates that I realized that some of those people, my fellow Americans were completely disrespectful to our men and women who serve and protect or country.

Most on this trip might not know that I am an Army brat, a child who grew up in the military, dealing with deployments and conversations that most kids have never gone through and won’t. Growing up this way has forever changed my view of those men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for us to be a free country, to experience what we all did today. Even though my father is retired, I still hold on closely to the military, from friends to other family members enlisted, I am always close. I have helped out with the children of military families every year for the past 8 summers and truly would not be the person I am today without my experiences with that.

But today was a different day, I expected our men and women who serve in our military to be in uniform and protecting our lives and the life of our president. What I got was for the most part an amazing experience seeing all of them, thanking them for their commitment to honor, protect, and serve our country. It was all fun and great until I overheard people, young, uneducated people speaking poorly of our men and women in uniform. Talking about their attire, how they walked around all high and mighty and bossed people around. I physically felt sick after hearing that. that they couldn’t even be remotely respectful to those that have given up their time, their lives to make sure we all had a great, safe day.

It wasn’t until going to a port a potty that I become completely disgusted with those who have zero respect for our country. I open the door up to see an American flag in the toilet. I couldn’t even look at it, I physically felt sick to my stomach that someone would do such a thing. To defile something so important to our country, just as if it was a piece if trash. As I walked back to our spots, passing several men and women in uniform, I couldn’t help but say thank you. Two simple words that can, as I’m told, be the best two words some could hear. I wanted to say more to some, but was so upset I kept walking, thinking about the person that had gone against so many rules and regulations. I have seen flags all of my life, until a few years ago I never fully understood their value and how important their care was to our service members.

I spoke with several friends and family members in the military today, thanking them for their service and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our country, but more so our flag. A high symbol of communication for not only our country, but the world. That flag stands tall and proud, blowing in the wind, telling us all that we are in a free nation, one that will always be protected. As Americans what type of communication us being sent from doing something like this? It forces me question things, how I act towards others, how I engage with everyone on a daily basis, but most of all how I treat those who serve in our armed forces and the flag that waves so proudly over our heads.

I know I can’t change the thoughts and feelings of others, but I sure hope that we can all learn a valuable lesson of respect and honor got our country from a day like today. We do not know that our freedom will always be there, but it would behoove us all to take a few minutes to thank someone who’s given their time and lives to help ensure we have that freedom now.

I know this post sounds like a rant and what not about our country and those who serve, I knew that we do not all feel the same way about those who serve or the system behind it, but when it comes down to it at the end of the day, we are all citizens of America and should respect everyone and the actions that some choose to take to ensure our freedom and lifestyles.

  1. #1 by James McPherson on January 22, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    Ranting is one of the things that blogs are for. 🙂 Seriously, though, I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Christ told us that the poor would always be with us–unfortunately, so will the ignorant.

    Despite being mostly anti-war liberals, my wife and I always thank those in the police and military who are serving, especially at an event like yesterday’s or when we’re marching in a parade to espouse values that they may not agree with (but they still do their jobs).

    And I’ve found that most people–liberals and conservatives alike–are clueless about the flag. I think that’s why the most popular post on my blog over the years has been this one (which also includes YouTube videos of my three favorite versions of the National Anthem): http://jmcpherson.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/burn-a-flag-for-the-fourth/

  2. #2 by breelenee on January 23, 2013 - 12:11 am

    I have such a high respect for the military and for the sacrifices their families make to protect our country. It makes me sad to think that someone would defile the American Flag like that =(

    I loved talking with the guards while we were waiting for the parade to start, they were so funny even though they had been up for so long and it was freezing cold.

  3. #3 by shughes152013 on January 23, 2013 - 1:52 am

    I appreciate your perspective and even though your experience wasn’t entirely positive, I respect that you are speaking from your heart and standing up for what you believe in. That in and of itself is a great representation of what it means to be American. Thank you for saying what needs to be said, even when it is tough to say and it requires the courage to critique. I could not agree with you more when it comes to respecting the president, the flag, and the country as a whole, even when individual opinions may not entirely align. As Americans, we will never understand the incredible freedom and privilege we experience. We take for granted what so many others would dream of having.

  4. #4 by hostic13 on January 27, 2013 - 1:08 am

    I really enjoyed this post Taylor, Not only did it inform me about your past with the military, I could really hear your voice in the words. I had no idea that this happened on Inauguration Day and I would be disgusted too when I go to the bathroom and see my nation’s flag in the toilet. Unbelievable. I think today it is easy for people to hide behind their smartphones and computers and complain about the government because they think their electronics gives them the authority to do so. However, I would hope that people go beyond the easy choice and decide to educate themselves further on the matter. Then they might be able to muster up the respect for these military men and women.

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