Dad taught me well!As a teen, I gained possession of a 48 star American flag that was as big as a wall in my bedroom. I proudly put it up, saluted it and said the pledge every day for my dads sake. It stayed there until.....
My father, Master Chief Charles Abraham Blocker was a 30 year Navy man and lay minister. He finished his career as the highest ranking enlisted man. At age 17 he lied about his age in order to join his older brother Uncle Jimmy in 1942 and made the Navy his career.
I was always fascinated and proud of his chest of medals including the Navy Cross. After those 30 years of traveling the Seven Seas, WWII, Korea, and many other assignments he came home straight from Vietnam. I was 15 and spent the entire day in the front yard in order to be the first to welcome him home.
When he saw the flag covering my wall, he immediately stopped in his tracks. Without harsh words but rather with solemnity, he took it down with care. He carried this 12 foot flag reverently to the living room where we respectfully folded it. He then had mom find a clear wrapping for it and placed it on my dresser.
Looking back, I am sure that the 48 star flag meant much more to him than I will ever know. He had defended and saluted that flag during his prime.
I guess the fact that it was an out dated flag made me feel it was OK to make it a wall dressing. I was proud to own it and to look at it.
The lesson stuck with me.
This was the man who plucked me from a pitiful Japanese orphanage at age 5. He taught me the pledge, the Preamble, and sang patriotic songs with me as we polished his leather and brass from the beginning. His frog like bass was music to my ears. He taught me American pride and I was singing the anthem before I was speaking decent English!
He praised me when as a Cub Scout, I helped with the morning flag raising in elementary school. When we went to Jacksonville Naval Air Base for groceries or medical, mom would drop me off at his office just across the road from the runway where the Blue Angels performed touch and goes. I was raised to honor the flag and what it stands for.
I have always honored what the flag represents and will stand up for it ferociously.
God Bless American and it's symbol of freedom, unity, and bravery.
THE GUIDELINES WE ALL SHOULD KNOW AND SHARE WITH OUR CHILDREN, OUR GRANDCHILDREN, OUR UNKNOWING FRIENDS:
Thanks to Larry Faulkner for sending me this.
Here is the code for the United States Flag.