Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't Mess with the Flag!

This is copied from an email that was sent to me today. I am not the original writer of this, but felt it was damn well worth adding to the blog. I hope I'm as steadfast in my own beliefs when I'm 90 years old.
"You might remember a news story several months ago about a crochety old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down the flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it. Now you can find out who, esactly, the old man was and what happened.
"Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg (doesn't say whether Indiana or some other Edinburg) - probably didn't make much news back then, which was 15 June 1919. Twenty five years later, 23 May, 1944, near Carano, Italy, the same Van T Barfoot set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was constantly reigning down on his fellow soldiers. Barfoot had enlisted in the army in 1940. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war. Later on, he took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun POWs.
"That probably didn't make the news, either, except perhaps in his home town newspaper. It did earn Van T. Barfoot a Congressional Medal of Honor award. He later retired at the rank of Colonel after serving in Korea and Vietnam. Again, his award and retirement didn't make national headlines. It might have run in his hometown newspaper.
"Fast forward to eight months ago, when Mr. Barfoot got into a dispute with his neighborhood association about the way he chose to fly the American flag on his own property. He chose not to obey the associations rule to only fly the flag from a house - mounted bracket. Something like a 21 foot pole and a large size American flag were not considered proper decorum for the neighborhood.
"In true John Wayne fashion, the 90 year old retired military man figuratively flipped the bird at the homeowners association after being denied a permit for the pole. He erected the pole and flew the flag despite facing court action if he didn't dismantle it.
"Because of the days of non stop news and social networking, Mr. Barfoot's plight became national headline news, and the neighborhood association became widely reviled. They changed their minds and are allowing Mr. Barfoot to fly his flag.
"'In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference'," Barfoot told the Associated Press. As well he should. If the neighborhood association takes another notion to contest him, they might want to read the words on his Medal of Honor citiation. It indicates he's not real good at backing down."
When you consider what we remembered this past Sunday, patriotism of all kinds should be respected, not litigated. There are times to adhere to the rules, but as Aunt Eller said in 'Oklahoma', "Let's not break the rules, let's just bend 'em a little." By bendin' a little, the neighborhood association might've saved face in the long run.
Makes me wanna look into the cost of erecting my own pole. Problem is, my husband might be crotchety at times, and he is a retired Captain in the US Army Reserves and a lifetime member/past president of the Reserve Officer's Association, but he's not 90 years old. I don't think we'd get the pass Mr. Barfoot got.
I respect and admire him for standing up for what he believed to right.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home