Love your country

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To the Editor:
On the first of the year, my daughter Kim will be leaving for Kuwait to begin a 13-month tour.
It is not the first time for her but I, like all parents of soldiers, hold a mixture of pride and worry.
Both she and my son-in-law, Jason, are top sergeants. Jason, an Army Ranger, has been to the Middle East more than a dozen times, though his tours of duty are shorter in duration.
I and my wife, Elaine, had the opportunity to spend Veterans Day and the ensuing weekend visiting them and our grandson Dylan (7 years old) in Columbus, Ga.
Brought along on the trip were our three dogs, Bruno, Allie and Pablo to visit their canine cousins, Tiger, Buddy and Bear. I could tell some wonderful stories about each time that group gets together.
All different sizes and breeds gelling together like one big, happy and extended family (it’s beautiful).
At 9 a.m. on Veteran’s Day, the whole city was abuzz for the grand parade honoring those who serve and have served. There were thousands of folks there proudly waving their flags in support. The parade itself was one of the most beautiful displays of patriotism I have ever seen.
It went on and on for over two hours as every school from Columbus and the surrounding area marched in tribute, many in military garb as they called cadence.
Service men and women from every branch were honored, many from individual wars and regiments of those wars.
Every organization that serves the community also was represented. Firehouse, police stations, emergency service and politicians alike.
The pomp, beauty and precision of it all was a sight to behold but it was the pride on the faces of both the participants and the onlookers that moved me to tears.
I fear for those who do not love this country.
Especially the youngsters who have been taught there are more things wrong with this country than are right with it.
They have been taught revised history and glorify other cultures, that always fail, above ours. It was once said, “America is not perfect, but it’s the best there is.”
I know that there is a long swing back from the counter-culture that arose in the 1960s and is still prevalent today. All I can do and I hope others will follow, is teach my children and grandchildren to stand against it as they do in Columbus, Ga.
I’d like to close with something I read many years ago that I believe should be in every classroom in our country.

It’s the soldier, not the reporters who has given us freedom of the press.
It’s the soldier, not the poet who has given us the freedom of speech.
It’s the soldier, not the campus organizers who has given us freedom  to demonstrate.
It’s the soldier, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.
By Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC.
– Lennie Rizzo

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