Opinion

Sacrifices are still being made in name of liberty | Ferry Home Companion

Howard Schonberger - Michael D
Howard Schonberger
— image credit: Michael D'Abrosca

Newspapers, schools, government ... all are among the many institutions who are chided if they don’t fly the flag on Flag Day.

We used to fly it at The Journal when our offices were on Guard Street, before moving to Mullis Street a few years ago. Only trouble, we were on the first floor and we lost a few flags.

We gave the thieves the benefit of the doubt, believing they were just out of funds to buy their own since they didn’t leave any anti-American graffiti on the wall of the building.

In our West Wing office on the second floor of the Tech Building, we have been hindered by the lack of access to our balcony without climbing through the windows.

After a few reminders from Legionnaires, including a member of the ACLU (of all places) who wants people to observe all the rules of proper etiquette and the like, we asked the Visitors Bureau, who has the only door accessing our building’s balcony, if we could put the flag up over there.

“Sure,” they said.

We got some heavy cord out of storage and with tape from the Visitors Bureau put it up outside one of their offices, the day after Flag Day, when President Obama decided to make Flag Day “Flag Week”.

Some people may think that’s silly. No way.

Now, more than ever, we should be proud of the revolution that is going on all over this world as the people in Iran are risking their liberty, property and lives to demonstrate — with signs written in English aimed at us — extolling the virtues of democracy, just as our revolutionary forebears did 233 years ago. Six million Iranians supposedly have those little camera phones which tweak and twitter the future of hope and peace that the world so yearns for.

Obama is being accused of being too soft in this crisis. I don’t think so. He is playing his cards correctly. He is getting world reaction to Iran’s leadership well-established before going for stronger sanctions.

Some people felt he should have started with the Big Stick approach. I remember back to the Hungarian uprising when Eisenhower urged all Hungarians to revolt. Only trouble was, he didn’t have enough support and the Russian tanks moved in to squelch the rebels.

Eisenhower was able to get the Soviets to let Hungarians emigrate to the U.S. and elsewhere. Much as I loved Ike, I felt that was a tough deal for the Magyars. Reagan and Kennedy did much better in their handling of the Russians. Even Nixon helped on China.

We’ve got lots to celebrate, even if we don’t have a flag on every building, or don’t have lights to illuminate the flags that fly all through the night, even if all of the veterans don’t salute the flag when pledging allegiance.

(Speaking of those etiquette rules, personally, I alternate between my heartfelt love and headstrong approval of how far we have come under that banner; I do it both ways at the Lions).

At least we can watch the parade, salute Old Glory as she marches by, and think of the great sacrifices that have been made — and still are being made — in the name of liberty.

— Contact Howard Schonberger at 378-5696 or hschonberger@sanjuanjournal.com.

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