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SERVING OUR VETERANS: Our U.S. flag

January 16, 2018
Ron Montonye - Pierce County Veterans Service Officer , Pierce County Tribune

When I made the decision to write these columns, one item on my list of what not to do, was to write anything detailing my political views. So far, I have been able to do this and this will continue to be a goal of mine. However, when it comes to a discussion concerning our U.S. Flag, it is rather hard not to. This is particularly the case with the recent events in our country concerning the flag and some professional football players' actions concerning our flag and the national anthem. These protests are not really new. They go back in my lifetime as far as the late sixties with situations involving the burning of our flag by those protesting the Vietnam War. I am pretty sure all Americans have their opinion on this, as I have mine. Opinions range from it is acceptable, all the way to our country should have a law making it a crime to burn or desecrate our flag. In order to stay with my commitment to not get political, I would just like to share with you some personal comments and thoughts about our flag.

As a member of the Clarence Larson Legion Post 23 here in Rugby, I have also had the honor of serving on our Post's Color Guard. As a member of the Color and Honor guard, I have participated in many funerals for veterans. Many of these veterans, I did not know. But, no matter what my personal connection, when I see the flag on their casket, or near their urn, I feel privileged to be able to help provide them and their families the honor and respect they deserve for their service to our country. As the Color Guard gets ready to perform the rifle salute, I always say to myself, "Well done good and faithful servant. You have earned this." May we always remember and honor these veterans for the freedoms they have won for us, and let us bring honor to the flag which they served under.

Sometimes I look at our flag and imagine that if I had a powerful magnifying glass I could see each individual stitch in the fabric of our flag. I imagine each stitch would represent one American Veteran. Each veteran, living or dead, would get just one stitch, no matter what their rank was, whether they served in peace time or war, or even to what extent they sacrificed for our country. All these stitches would then make up the fabric of our flag. But, as I thought about this, I came to the conclusion that this would make up only one-half of our flag. The rest of the flag would be stitches representing the remainder of our nation's citizens. For when we all appreciate and respect one another, and work together for the common good of all, then our flag will be complete, and our country will the strongest and the most united. If we can do this, then as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said, "then this government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this earth."

As a final note, I would like to remind all veterans there is a Veterans Information and Resource Fair on January 25, 2018, from 2-7 p.m. at the Minot VFW Post #753, 1100 31st St. SE, in Minot. There is a special presentation about how you can help prevent suicide among veterans from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The fair will cover information and resources in regard to health and veterans benefits as well many support programs that are available. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

 
 

 

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