I had the honor be among those who sent several young men back to Dover as part of the Dignified Transfer from Kandahar, Afghanistan. Memorial Day has never been the same. I relate to one in particular because of one of the choppers that went down, I was among those scheduled to be on it. We could not get the arrangements on the other side straight. Instead, we ended up sending others who were on that flight back under Old Glory.
This is why it bugs me so much to see the flag or anthem disrespected. It is not that I do not respect people’s right to do whatever. I do. I just wish people understood what that beautiful flag means. It is the symbol of liberty. Humanity struggled to be free until the United States of America. Once we became free to achieve, worship, be educated and govern ourselves, the whole world changed. I wish people would look at the world in 1600 and look at it in 600 A. D. and in 600 B. C. and 1600 B. C. Then they will understand how fast global progress has happened in just 250 years. The innovation of liberty swept the world. Human rights became expected instead of the exception. The American standard was so high that we could not even live up to it all at once. In our struggle to be live up to it, we grow and humanity is bettered. The flag does not represent what we are, but what we can be.
The red in that glorious banner reminds us of the blood shed to keep us the land of the free. To me it is worth respecting. When I respect it, I respect the gift that GOD gave us called freedom. I respect the memory of the men who walked off a plane with hope and were carried home with honor under a flag.
I love this nation. It is not by accident that I have given 15 years of my life being ready when it called. There are so many others who have done far more. I will always respect their service and honor the last full measure of devotion for those who gave all. May GOD bless America and its gold star families. Have a fine Memorial Day. Please take a moment to give honor where it is due. I will be at a couple of events Monday, the Triangle in Downtown Dover off S. State Street at 11 am and the Kent County Veteran’s Park at 2 pm
I dedicate this to the memory of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, 34, of Heavener, Okla.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, 29, of Willow Spring, N.C.; Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta, Ga.; Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 30, of Elkhart, Ind.; and Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss.