Two Ways of Looking
I was driving home tonight, a longish drive home, but it was later than normal, and the traffic was thinning. I had planned on stopping by the gas station for a fill up, like I do just about every other day, what with this hulking man-machine that I drive. And a car wash. But I spaced, and I drove by the gas station.
Thankfully I have one of those electronic sensors that tells me, via an audible bong! that I'm but ounces of petrol away from Ditchville. And just a few short blocks before I got home, the bonger bonged!
Just after the notification of fuel distress, something on an overpass caught my eye.
I'm sure you've seen them all over the country. Since 9/11. American flags. On overpass chainlink. Flapping, torn, faded. Flying. Whatever your feelings on World Issues, it's hard not to be touched. Until you learn of the scams. The companies profitting off a collective, national grief. Ugly. But those flags on overpasses... They united us. For a while. Until GWB undid it all.
Tonight I saw something similar, but different. What I saw was this, left to right:
It took a minute for it to sink in. And then it did. And here's what I have to say about it.
If you are pro-war, and you hung those flags, you do not speak for me. Do not think that you do. Also, do not think that the gravity of combat, the reality of death and destruction and innocence forever shattered escapes me. Do not think that I do not support our people, our country. Do not think that I do not love this country, its people, and that I would not fight to protect it, and the ones I love. Do not think any of this for one second. I have not forgotten the loss. I never will. No one ever will. But know this. If you support this farce put on by this pathetic excuse for a presidency, if you rally and cry war, you do not speak for me.
But if, on the other hand, you were trying to say the following: "See these three flags? These three flags represent three countries. These three flags represent three countries united behind a goal. Note that there are no other flags flying. In the world, in the entire world, we could only round up three flags. It's best not to forget this. Because the world will not forget this." You shouldn't either.
If you were hanging those flags and you were looking at the world the second way, you speak for me. And you were damn clever about it.
However you look at it, here is my hope: That we always have the right to hang our flags where and how we see fit. Go on and fly them.
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