Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:44 am

Segel: They Bled So We Could Honor Our Flag

By Thomas D. Segel

Mixed in among the many tributes being offered by the media on the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack on our country was a news item that brought me as much heartache as revisiting the horrors of that fateful day.  Brookline, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts was contemplating a demand by a group known as the Brookline Political Action For Peace, that the reciting by students of the Pledge of Allegiance must no longer be allowed in public schools.

Just think about that for a moment.  In the history of this country more than one million four hundred thousand men and women have fought and died under that flag.  Tenfold that number have shed their blood just so students, teachers, parents…all Americans, would have the right to stand free and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now we have a despicable group of individuals who have given voice to a demand that students no longer learn or recite that promise to their nation.  The rationale for making this demand is that reciting such a pledge is reflective of what takes place in totalitarian regimes.  What is even more disgusting is the idea that any school administration would even allow such a demand to be considered.

I immediately thought back to the 1960s when I was a member of the Military Advisory Group in Vietnam. We wore civilian clothing, lived in civilian quarters, drove civilian’s vehicles and displayed no military markings.  There was no wearing or displaying of the American Flag.  I cannot put into words feeling of despair that would come over me every time I looked up and saw that Vietnamese yellow flag with red stripes waving overhead.  This was not the flag of my country, but I was being asked to risk my life under that banner.

We have all heard stories of our brave POWs and how they continued to honor their flag under the most trying of circumstances.  One of my  remembrances is a story told by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.  During the years he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, McCain was incarcerated along with fellow American Mike Christian.  He recalls that Christian was a Naval Aviator who was commissioned from the ranks and later earned his wings.  The Selma, Alabama native created a small American Flag out of bits and pieces of cloth taken from his and fellow prisoners clothing.  The POWs would display the flag secretly and say the Pledge of Allegiance whenever possible.  One day, the Vietnamese discovered the flag hidden on Christian’s body.  It was taken away and he was severely beaten.  When the officer regained his strength, he immediately started to fashion another American Flag.

I can proudly say that the schools attended by my grandchildren still proudly honor our flag.  I recall one Veteran’s Day ceremony at my granddaughter’s school.  All veterans were honored and everyone gathered outside under the flagpole.  The Colors of our Nation were raised and everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  What kind of despicable human being would want to deny such experiences to any student?

Sadly, all of the Americans who bled and died under our flag gave their lives just so people like this could make such vile protests.

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  1. cxComment by genesal
    September 12, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Yes, you have to be in the situation to understand it fully.  When you can’t count of your President or VP or Congress or even the Military leaders.  You had the flag standing tall and straight with the same meaning since the 1700′s.  The Flag is what you could count of and the Flag is what you fought for.  I feel most in my position think we have a special relationship with our Flag and it still makes us proud to have fought for the flag and you.

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  2. onewildmanComment by onewildman
    September 12, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! !

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    • Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
      September 12, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

      WTG, onewildman………….what on earth are all these people going to turn into when the older couple of generations are gone.
      There’s no respect for much of anything now………’s going to be a big pile of atheistic globalists I guess.  HOW TERRIBLY SAD!

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  3. menges5Comment by menges5
    September 12, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    The person who said that SS is not an entitlement, must be clased as totally uninformed.  No where in the dictionary does it state that the actions required for the use of entitlements, requires voluntary action.  It is the same as purchasing a ticket for a game or show, participation on a insurance program, monetary investment.  He needs to quit sucking up the socialist convolution of the english language.  The other programs that they pur the title, “entitlements” are doles, handouts, subsidies.  Needs to get his facts straight.

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