Take pride in our nation’s flag

What an interesting juxtaposition there was in last week’s Cabinet.

On Page 1, we had a story and photos about the rededication of Milford’s World War II monument, a piece devoted to honoring the men and women who served in that global conflict and, in particular, the 12 from town who gave their lives.

Then, on Page 15, a letter from Roland Petersen, of Milford, who said it was “a shame” that men and women just sat and watched as the flag passed by during the Labor Day parade and he mentioned that during the Cheyenne, Wyo., Frontier Days parade, people there constantly got up from their seats each time a flag passed by, to show respect.

Which is the more telling tale about our nation today, our story or Mr. Petersen’s letter?

Both are equally telling, we think, but for different reasons.

Regarding our story, it is clear that there are still men and women who remember, understand and honor the sacrifices of the past, and we don’t just mean the sacrifice of life. During World War II, almost everyone sacrificed something: time, if nothing else. For many, the sacrifice was in being away from family for years at a time. In war, nearly everyone sacrifices. Not everyone, of course. Some thrive in time of war. We don’t honor them, at least not in spirit. The rededication of the World War II monument was to honor those who served, not those who shirked.

Regarding, though, what Mr. Petersen sees as disrespect for the flag, he is certainly right, but we don’t believe it was deliberate. We think people just don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Now, one could ask why the people in Wyoming knew and the people in Milford didn’t, and we can’t answer that for sure. Perhaps some announcement was made prior to the Frontier Days parade.

And perhaps that is something Milford’s master of ceremonies could consider doing at next year’s Labor Day parade: announce to the crowd, which we hope is as large as this year’s, that when an American flag passes, they should stand up and remove their hats.

We know that for some folks who are elderly, that won’t always be possible and that’s understandable, but there are many who attend the parade who would have no trouble standing even several times.

So, let’s consider an announcement next year and then, with Mr. Petersen, let’s honor the flag.