Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley had this to say in yesterday's paper:
"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 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."
The media has done a great job telling us how miserable the war in Iraq is going and criticizing our military for the Where's-Waldo search for Osama bin Laden. The media paints a picture of demoralized troops without goals or confidence skulking through a foreign landscape with ungrateful citizens.
Against that backdrop it's refreshing to hear directly from soldiers about appreciative Iraqi citizens that are glad for our troops' sacrifice and commitment, and thankful for the job they're doing building them a freer Iraq.
When those soldiers look back at the US they won't see our half-mast flags because apologists can't stand proudly for America. Instead of lowering our flags until the finest soldiers on the planet come home we should lift our flags to their highest points so our honor for them will be the first thing they see break the horizon.
Mark Twain wrote, "Tis a fine thing to fight for one's own freedom; tis a far sight finer to fight for another man's."
We should not be jealous of our freedom nor believe we are uniquely deserved of it. What kind of arrogance is it that believes one people are more deserving of freedom than another? No finer a goal has been fought for since America's Civil War when a great and terrible price was paid to ransom a liberty not easily purchased.
It's less a measure of patriotism than a measure of gratitude. Who are we to suspect another nation's degree of thankfulness when we demonstrate so little ourselves?
Keep your flag at full-mast, and let everyone see it from as far away as possible. Iraq and Afghanistan are a long way away.