Advertisement

Show a little respect

September 25, 2007|By AL WUNDERLICH

Rant

We have a lot of time on our hands: 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, an average of almost 80 years per lifetime. And especially living in America, we generally get to choose what we do with a significant amount of our time.

This summer, I became aware of how selfish we can be with our time. During this year's Salute to Independence celebration at Antietam National Battlefield, I was throwing around a football with some friends and their relatives, when the band began to play "The Star-Spangled Banner."

I took off my hat. But others in our group kept throwing the stupid football. They didn't pause to listen to our national anthem.

Advertisement

It was as though they cared more about amusement and recreation than they did about the point of the whole celebration: Independence Day, the birth of our nation. Perhaps, they all wouldn't mind being British, and preferred not to think about the incredible sacrifices made for this country that we live in (this story did take place on a battlefield!).

The incident didn't fully hit me until late August, when I realized the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks was coming up on the calendar.

I wanted to go back and ask the football-throwers, "Is it too much to ask to offer respect for two minutes - two minutes out of a whole afternoon of entertainment and fun - for our country, for which men and women are sacrificing their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan?"

I find it just as important to say now, after Sept. 11. I hope and pray that American teenagers strive to be thankful for the U.S. by showing at least minimal respect for the nation's symbols, even if it takes a few moments.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|