Return To “Old Glory” Days

The American flag needs more R-E-S-P-E-C-T


Ashlyn Anderson, Staff Writer

What ever happened to respect? 

Today, people are disrespectful to drivers on the road, wait staff at restaurants—basically anyone who has opposite points of view. But, there is no greater disservice than disrespecting those who serve and protect this country: the military.

While people may not actually spit on their boots, their refusal to stand for the flag speaks volumes. Many men and women have served in the U.S. military under this flag, but have any students ever thought how their own teachers who have served feel about this? The few, the proud, the strong from EHS have strong feelings on the matter.

Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt.) Scott Rutledge, who now heads up the JROTC program here, enlisted in June of 1991. He serves proudly and wears the flag on his uniform. “It is disrespectful to the people around them who want to say a quick prayer or to contemplate on something in life–something they would like to work on,” he asserts.

Most students choose to be silent, but to those who don’t, think about the people who have lost loved ones who were willing to fight for this country. “That flag should be meaningful to every U.S. citizen,” Rutledge insists. “You should definitely stand and respect a symbol that identifies with those people who have given something in their service to the nation–up to, and including, their life.”

Science teacher Daniel Walsh couldn’t agree more. “The military has had a significantly positive and lasting influence on my family,” he begins. “As a family, this gave us a greater appreciation for special events such as birthdays, holidays and family vacations.”

After being deployed for sometimes more than 6 months at a time, Walsh and his family have come to appreciate every moment spent together. These experiences gave them a “broader perspective” of the world and a stronger appreciation for what the United States stands for.

Nothing may hit home harder for Walsh than the 20th anniversary commemoration of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on this country.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Walsh was one of over 5,000 Navy personnel assigned to USS Enterprise (CVN-65). This was the nation’s first nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier. A month later–on Oct. 10–they were directed to imitate retaliatory air attacks into Afghanistan. The threat is as real today as it was then.

So in the end, the flag should never be used as a political weapon. It should never be taken for granted, either. Its stars and stripes represent this country’s united efforts to protect freedom–at all costs. Thus, standing for the flag should be an automatic move. One doesn’t have to agree, but all should show some respect.