Warning: If you don’t want to read a tirade from an Old Fogey, skip the post below.
One of my never-ending projects is converting our vinyl records to digital format. I put many of the resulting files onto my iPod, but I also burn CDs so we can enjoy classical music on our stereo system and so that we can listen to music in the car.
On our trip to the beach in May we took along CDs made from an album of vinyl records put out by Reader’s Digest around the time of our Bicentennial. One of the tracks was Kate Smith’s “God Bless America”. After listening to it, Betsy and I got to talking about that and other patriotic songs we remember from our childhood. We sang these songs in schools and other places and usually didn’t even need to have the printed words since we knew them (or at least parts of them) by heart. Now I wonder if our grandchildren have even heard them.
If they haven’t I think they are missing out on something. Now don’t get me wrong — I know that the U. S. is not heaven on earth. But I do think that this is a pretty special country. My father grew up as a tenant farmer’s son who went to town with his father in a horse-drawn wagon. I ended up programming and running computers half-way around the globe. Our civil discourse is decidedly uncivil at times, but I think most Americans are decent, hard-working people who care about their families and their neighbors. When there is a disaster in any part of the world Americans are usually there helping in person or by donating money.
So on this Flag Day the flag will be flying at our house (perhaps there will even be a breeze). As it says another song, “If this is flag-waving — flag-waving — can you think of a better flag to wave?”