I come from a long line of military in my family. Both of my grandfathers, my father, uncle and cousin served in different branches and some went on to dedicate their entire lives to defending our rights and our country.
As a kid I spent summer vacations in sunny Florida with my grandparents. They were loving but stern southerners that liked sports, beer and being active in their community. My grandmother especially enjoyed making all sorts of food. I remember loading up the station wagon with several trays of home cooked meals and heading to the local VFW for the afternoon. I loved hearing the bleeping of pinball machines and my grandfather exchanging stories with other veterans, as the smell of cigar smoke, Budweiser in cans and my grandmother’s perfume permeated the air.
Respect for my country was instilled in me when I was very young. We displayed American flags in front of our houses and had large welcome home parties when friends and family returned from service. There was a great sense of gratitude for our loved ones and the opportunity to pursue “The American Dream”.
Recently I turned on the news and witnessed a gang of immigrants (and some Americans) storming through the streets, protesting and burning our American flag…..it brought tears to my eyes. Maybe to them it’s a way to express discontent or anger over their circumstances, but to me that flag represents something great! It is a symbol of freedom, hope and a reminder of how fortunate we are to be born here. It is a treasured memory of fun times with my grandparents in my youth. It is an image of home.
Most immigrants that come here legally feel blessed to escape oppressive situations. They work hard and understand the privilege they have been granted…..others do not. Being an American means you have freedom of speech and expression, so realistically you do have the option to burn that flag. Men and women in our military have fought and died for that right but most people in their right mind would not dare to exercise it. If my grandfather were here today, well, let’s just say he would have some very colorful words to say to those flag burning individuals!
So the question remains, “Is anyone bothered by protesters burning American flags?” I am. It may look like a few isolated cases but it is just the beginning of a massive problem if the illegal immigration situation is left unresolved. Many of these people are violent and have no regard for human life.
Donald Trump is addressing this problem and he is the only one with a viable solution. In November I will be voting for Mr. Trump…for the men and women who protect this country…for my grandfather.
Written by Cara Mia