A Flag Day Tirade

The flag in our yard waiting for a breeze. June 13, 2010.

Warning:  If you don’t want to read a tirade from an Old Fogey, skip the post below.

One of my never-ending projects is converting our vinyl records to digital format.  I put many of the resulting files onto my iPod, but I also burn CDs so we can enjoy classical music on our stereo system and so that we can listen to music in the car.

On our trip to the beach in May we took along CDs made from an album of vinyl records put out by Reader’s Digest around the time of our Bicentennial.  One of the tracks was Kate Smith’s “God Bless America”.  After listening to it, Betsy and I got to talking about that and other patriotic songs we remember from our childhood.  We sang these songs in schools and other places and usually didn’t even need to have the printed words since we knew them (or at least parts of them) by heart.  Now I wonder if our grandchildren have even heard them.

If they haven’t I think they are missing out on something.  Now don’t get me wrong — I know that the U. S. is not heaven on earth.  But I do think that this is a pretty special country.  My father grew up as a tenant farmer’s son who went to town with his father in a horse-drawn wagon.  I ended up programming and running computers half-way around the globe.  Our civil discourse is decidedly uncivil at times, but I think most Americans are decent, hard-working people who care about their families and their neighbors.  When there is a disaster in any part of the world Americans are usually there helping in person or by donating money.

So on this Flag Day the flag will be flying at our house (perhaps there will even be a breeze).  As it says another song, “If this is flag-waving — flag-waving — can you think of a better flag to wave?”

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18 Responses to “A Flag Day Tirade”

  1. Busy Bee Suz Says:

    I love your tirade George. I can tell you that I am almost sure your Grandkids don’t know these songs…as my kids don’t know most of them.
    I remember learning them in School and scouts. They certainly don’t let them sing them in school anymore…which is such a shame.
    Patriotisim is a wonderful thing…I do hope it never dies.

  2. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    Well, I don’t consider this a tirade, compared to many others I’ve heard. I agree with everything you say. When I went to school, before anything else was done, we prayed and said the pledge of allegience. I’m sure you and Betsy did, too. Those days are over for good. As many things that could be better in this country, aren’t we so lucky that we were born here, in the land of the FREE!!

  3. marnie Says:

    There have been some good patriotic songs written more recently. Lee Greenwoods is one of my favorites and Toby Keith has a couple.

    Unfortunately, nobody’s kids will be singing them in school–not anytime soon. I can’t see why pride in country offends non-Americans who have chosen to live here but they object to our songs and pledges. I guess in the end, we have our legal system to thank for the loss of our national pride.

  4. MaryBeth Says:

    I think we have the most beautiful flag in the whole world and fly mine always.
    I think we are a patriot bunch and kids here know a lot of the songs we sang . They still say the Pledge here and still add ‘under God’. Small town America I salute you. MB

  5. Diane Says:

    Hi, George, Betsy sent me over to see your blog today. Old Glory is a beautiful thing to have a tirade about. I love our flag, the old patriotic songs, they were taught to me when I was young. My dad and uncle were in WW2. Three young men across the alley from us died in that war. Patriotism WAS something then and it STILL should be. Too many people have fought too hard to bring us to this point which so many people are just throwing away. Thanks for the nice post.

  6. Becca Says:

    My flag is flying at home. America does have some beautiful songs that describe out beautiful country. I wish they meant what they did years ago when they were written.

  7. tipper Says:

    I think we need more tirades than just yours! I’m afraid you’re right the kids today don’t learn the patriotic songs like we used too-and for me that is a sad thing indeed.

    I have a flag in my window-it stays there year round-all though since I live at the end of a dead end road-not many folks see it.

  8. happyone Says:

    God Bless America!! I’ve got my flag waving proudly!! 🙂

  9. Jen Says:

    Flying my Red White and Blue today, as we do everyday.
    God Bless America!

  10. Mildred Says:

    A very good post George. We are flying our flag proudly. My sis teaches school in Indiana and I was stunned recently to hear her talk about the total disrespect the teens today have for our flag and our country. So many have and are fighting and so many have lost their lives fighting for our country. Just a marvelous post today George.

  11. Fishing Guy Says:

    George: I agree that the only place you find patriotic music is in the country genre.

  12. Kathy Ariano Says:

    Not a tirade — but a cogent piece. We need to get another flag — we had to dispose of ours recently — it was pretty ratty and worn.

    I have all kinds of marches downloaded onto my IPOD — including all the themes from the military branches. My dad made sure we knew all the words!

  13. Karin Says:

    Well thought out and excellent post George! God bless America – my dear friends to the south!!

  14. Pat Says:

    HI George
    I also have a Flag Day post today!

    Did you know that at every Yankee home baseball game in the Bronx they play a recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” ?

    My children heard many patriotic songs when they were in elementary school as the principal played one every morning on the PA system before they said the Pledge of Allegiance. They remember them all!


  15. Nanny Says:

    Amen, well said George!
    I am so glad that Betsy linked us with you!!! Great Post.
    I have a record player thing that hooks to computer to covert mine too….but I just haven’t tackled it yet….you know how it is, retirees only have so much time and can’t get everything done/ha

  16. Kirigalpoththa Says:

    Excellent post! 🙂

  17. SquirrelQueen Says:

    Hi George,
    I really enjoyed your tirade, we need more of those.
    It’s a little late but Happy Flag Day! Our flag was flying high today.

  18. Rose Says:

    George, don’t get me started. I can think of so much more to add to your post…it would really be a tirade then. I am 54 and we, too, grew up singing the patriotic songs, saying a prayer to start the day at school, and also said grace.

    I wish these people that are so ashamed of our country would go live under the ones that they think is so much better.

    Also, why do people hold such value for the thoughts of people in show business? If you notice Jeopardy the past few years, when they have the stars on the questions are easier….oh, there are some that don’t need that. But before they started doing it, it was sort of pathetic. Not that I was a lot better….but I am not ranting and raving about how awful our country is.

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