November 14, 2006

Flag Post

As a (sorta) Veteran, I am proud to say that I did what most Veterans do on thier national day of recognition...went to Frickin' work. Luckily, the job I'm on is in the middle of downtown Knoxville, so they kinda brought the parade to me. Sweet! My main access to the hoistway is through an entrance from a catwalk stuck to the side of the building, so as the festivities were gearing up, I couldn't help but see what was going on. The stand was set up right next to the stairway that goes down to the parking lot where my truck sat, so hearing who was going by was no trouble. Two or three VFW posts were riding Harley's, a few HMMWV's were in attendance, a couple of different flyover's by a CH-64 "Huey" (I think the "Huey" was designated CH-64, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now) and a KC-135 mid-air refueler, Several ROTC Units, High School Bands, basically the whole shmeer.

The coolest part was when the downtown fire hall brought out one of thier Ladder Trucks. They parked it perpendicular to the parade route, extended the ladder over the road, and extended a Thirty Foot Flag down from it. You can bet your sweet ass that I shucked my Hard Hat and saluted that big sucker when they started singing Our National Anthem. I tell you that a flag like that (not hanging in front of a truckstop) is a sight to behold.

The parade was just wrappign up when my lunchtime came around, so I found myself on the same sidewalk as several Vietnam Vet's, assorted Purple Heart "Winner's", and a group of young people recently returned from Iraq. Now I'm proud of what I do for a living...near to the point of being a "cocky little Bastard" about it. When I go down the street, I've got my chest pushed out like a Bantam Rooster, because "I BUILD AMERICA!" On the sidewalk that day, my head was down, and my stride was short. I was in the presence of people who "DEFEND AMERICA!" It's hard to build elevators when you've got a lump in your throat.

Sunday evening, I realized I was out of beer, so I "Raised up" on out and headed to my local convenience establishment to procure myself a twelve-shooter. I headed straight in, went to the cooler and snagged my intended purchase. When I stepped into the line for the register, and I noticed another patron. It was a little chilly, so he was wearing an Olive Drab jacket to stave off the cold. Unfortunately he had another garment on...Our Flag. He had it draped around his shoulders like a shawl...Upside-Down. He was a polite and cordial person, but I hated him as soon as I noted his garb. I never said a word to him, but in my mind, I was caving his fucking skull in with a tire tool. My restraint came from the fact that I was in dire need of alchohol, and my understanding of the meaning of the first Amendment. He was protesting...and I didn't stick around to find out exactly what.

All I know is...if you wish to protest, don't take a symbol of our nation in distress as your garb. It'll piss off a patriot, and there may be someone who will pull the trigger on your ass. I hope I'm around when it happens.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at November 14, 2006 10:38 PM | TrackBack

Pissing off a patriot is never a good idea. And when did it become *okay* to "protest" always and everywhere???

At funerals, in front of hospitals, during parades... People used to remember that there is a time and a place for things. Not *every* time and *all over* the place.


Posted by: Richmond at November 15, 2006 03:22 PM

The people who build America are one of the groups of Americans that make defending the nation worthwhile.

And I'll point out - since you're too modest to - that you're a veteran yourself.

Thank you for your service.

Posted by: Harvey at November 17, 2006 11:34 PM

If it's ok for people to protest unpopular wars by burning flags, then can I protest school prayer by burning a cross?

Washington (part 2) is up on my site.

(miss you buddy)

Posted by: Sarah the Penguin at November 17, 2006 11:50 PM

The "Huey" was actually a UH-1 I believe but I get what you were saying.

Posted by: Realist at November 19, 2006 04:56 PM

But though I understand what you are saying, I don't much agree and that's being polite. People who have almost a religious-like reverence for the flag should take a little time and read up on some of the despicable things that flag has been attached to. America has a long, LOOOOOOOONG history of brutalization, imperialism, genocide in the name of "manifest destiny", coup-fomenting, democracy-crushing assholery that smears that flag with more filth than any protester ever could. And I would MUCH rather see that flag wrapped around some hippie than see it wrapped around atrocious policies both here and abroad so as to stifle criticism as it so often is used for. If you would like to see someone shot as you said for using the flag in such a manner than you, sir, are about one bumper sticker away from the armband, jackboots and the whole Nazi nine yards. Get a grip.

Posted by: Realist at November 19, 2006 05:05 PM