May 11, 2010

Posted by in Politics | 0 Comments

Is This Really America?

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood 

During my recent trip to Florida, I saw an Italian restaurant, on Fort Myers Beach, flying the Italian flag above the American flag. The American flag was also turned upside down.

Last week, five high school students in Morgan Hill, California, were reprimanded and sent home for wearing t-shirts with the American flag on them. Apparently, this was seen as some sort of rabble rousing gesture because the students wore the shirts on May 5, Cinco de Mayo.

Today, I read a story about a 7th grade girl in Salinas, California who was told by her teacher that her drawing of the American Flag is “offensive.”

Stories like these make me wonder if this really is America. It seems like the “rights” of a few have suddenly become the “rules” of everyone. The “politically correct” seem to be forgetting that this country is a place for freedom for ALL.

I am all for everyone celebrating their heritage. My relatives came here legally from Italy, Ireland, Germany and France; my husband’s came legally from Poland and Holland.  I do not refer to myself as an Italian American or an Irish American or a German Amercian. My husband does not call himself a Polish or Dutch American. Our sons do not put on other labels to define the kind of American that they are. We are Americans. Period.

If folks want to celebrate their heritage, that is fine. Do not, however, make your celebration, your country of origin, more important than this country you live in. Do not fly the flag of another country above the American flag. Do not expect citizens to refrain from wearing patriotic shirts or drawing patriotic pictures because some other person may be offended. 

Our military defends the American flag every day. The common bond is this: We are Americans. This is America. We are a country made up of people from many different countries. Love it, or leave it.

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