I’m not sure how long we have been publishing “The Flag”, but I have seen some copies from the 1980’s so I think it’s safe to assume it’s been 30 years or longer. When Norman Crook was Executive Director of Bethany, the title of his article was “The View From My Window”. I am glad that the view from my window is now filled with tree leaves and green grass and a river that is not frozen over.
You may know that June 14th is Flag Day. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States which happened in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. The United States Flag has changed over time, from the original 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies, to the current 50 white stars representing all 50 of our beautiful and diverse states. The Flag has been flying proudly over American cities, town halls, U.S. territories, front lawns, cemeteries, and military bases around the world. It has flown atop mountains, was raised at Iwo Jima, flown over Gettysburg, and Normandy Beach. The Flag has been stepped on, burned, torn, and desecrated in the name of free speech, or simply because some people hate the U.S. and the ideals for which we stand. I believe the American Flag is a symbol of freedom, opportunity, and the possibility of peace and tranquility to those who are willing to strive for success and prosperity in this great land. Others strongly disagree, but whatever you believe, the American Flag certainly provokes strong emotions on both sides.
I think we’d all agree that there are times when we take our freedom for granted. For those of us who have grown up in the United States it is hard not to do, since most of us do not know what it is like to live without freedom. I’m sure there are times when we’ve taken the Flag for granted, as well. With Memorial Day having just passed, the Flag is now being flown everywhere you look. If you see the Flag as you drive down the road or walk around town, perhaps you will take a moment to reflect upon what the Flag means to you. Maybe we can all take a moment to consider those who have given their lives for what the Flag stands for, and for those who sacrificially gave of themselves so that we may drive down those roads and walk around that town in freedom. Happy Flag Day! Enjoy the sun!
“Yes, the ‘view from my window’ today reminds me of the possibility of peace and tranquility that we too often fail to see or to seek.”
-Rev. Norman Crook, The Flag, March 1988