May 27, 2020 –
A repeat but fitting for Memorial Day
In 2017, I attended high school graduation held in a small town, a population of about 7,000—there were 110 graduates. I, along with 1,500 relatives and friends, enjoyed the ceremony. It began with a presentation of the United States flag accompanied by a lone trumpeter playing the Star-Spangled Banner. Then with a hand over heart, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Sixty-one years ago, I attended a high school graduation, mine. The ceremony was in a small town. The event was in our school auditorium; the one tonight took place at the school football field.
Except for special church services held on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and attendance at a couple of Boy Scout Eagle Ceremonies, there weren’t many occasions where I stood with a group of people, hand over our hearts, and recited the Pledge and heard the playing of our national anthem. I attend very few sports events, so I am not in the stadium or the arena when this moving experience happens.
I’m offended and upset when people don’t stand during the playing or singing of our National Anthem, and when they don’t place their hand over their hearts. On Memorial Day, 2020 I feel blessed to have the opportunity to demonstrate my patriotic feelings in the greatest country in the world.
Fortunately, the graduates will learn that their education isn’t over; it has only begun. As one young high school student said, “Expect obstacles. It’s not the ‘setbacks’ that count but the ‘comebacks’ that determine our success.”
There are more graduations to come. What America needs is more patriotic citizens.