Do you remember ‘Old Glory’?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. James Baxley
  • 22nd Communications Squadron first sergeant
Some people call me "Old Glory" or The "Stars and Stripes" but whatever they call me, I am your flag, the flag of the United States of America.

I remember a short time ago when people lined upon both sides of the street to watch a parade, and naturally, I was always there, proudly waving in the breeze.

When your mother or father saw me coming, they immediately removed their hat and placed it over their heart.

But today, I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. I may get a small glance, but then you look away.

I see children running around and playing. They don't seem to know who I am. I saw a man take off his hat and look around. He didn't see anybody else with their hat off, so he quickly put his back on. Was he embarrassed?

Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been? I have been to Normandy, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq to provide a symbol of liberty and justice.

When you salute me, you are actually saluting all the men and women who did not return to their families after paying the ultimate sacrifice.

It won't be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight and place your right hand over your heart or salute. I'll salute you by waving back and I'll know that you remembered.

Portions of this essay were provided by