[Marxism] Lower all flags until war is over
cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Wed Jul 12 12:51:26 MDT 2006
More soul, less patriotism.
ROCHELLE RILEY: Lower all flags until war is over
July 12, 2006
BY ROCHELLE RILEY
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
On the eve of the Fourth of July, as I drove east along 14 Mile Road, the
long line of cars came over the hill, headlights blazing, flags fluttering,
moving about 30 miles per hour.
I quickly pulled over and waited. And waited. And waited, glad to wait,
doing what I'd been taught to do since I first got my license at 16 in
Tarboro, N.C. When a funeral procession approaches, you stop. You wait.
As I sat, I thought about the recent mini-flap over whether Michigan should
lower flags to half-staff to salute American soldiers dying in the Iraqi
civil war. When the governor first ordered it, the Sons of Union Veterans of
the Civil War criticized her, saying: "The world seems to be caught up in
this frame of mind where it's not enough to say we're sorry (for a death) to
show our compassion and our patriotism."
That was Bruce Butgereit of Kentwood, who faulted the governor because her
policy violates the U.S. Flag Code, which allows lowering only for
high-ranking government and elected officials, not soldiers or National
Guard members. I didn't hear Butgereit criticize the president for lowering
flags for Pope John Paul II and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William
Rehnquist, or for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. For good
Gov. Jennifer Granholm ordered the flags lowered 72 times for soldiers
between December 2003 and last week, doing what governors in at least a
dozen states do. She did it on June 30 to honor Lance Cpl. Brandon Webb, 20,
who grew up in Swartz Creek and died in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, and again
on July 7 to honor Marine Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, 30, of Lake Orion,
who died June 26 from injuries sustained in Al Anbar Province.
She better keep on doing it, because we've reached a place in America where
some of our soldiers are losing hope and sanity, some of their families back
home are losing hope and faith, and those who should be honoring the dead
are losing their minds -- counting how many times we lower the flag in
memory of those who do the jobs that keep us free.
How about counting how many soldiers are dying, period? When will enough be
enough? Three years ago, we didn't think hundreds of soldiers would die in
Iraq. Now, thousands have. At the rate soldiers are dying, we will have lost
3,000 by year's end.
Light will be on
On the Fourth, as I celebrated America's independence and my ancestors'
later independence and my own independence, I stood outside for a moment,
just before the fireworks, with my porch light on. I'll turn it on every
night in honor of the soldiers still living, the ones I send boxes with
pieces of home and prayers on angel wings.
While politicians argue about flags and rules and who is more patriotic, I
will stand in the light and quietly demand, every evening, that President
George W. Bush come to his senses, save his tattered legacy, and leave Iraq
And here's a solution for the flag flap: Keep all flags at half-staff until
the war is over. I know I'm keeping my porch light on.
Contact ROCHELLE RILEY at 313-223-4473 or rriley at freepress.com.
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