The Flag (2)

This is our flagpole and our country’s flag.  We did not put up the pole.  It was here when we purchased the house.  It was erected after the United States entered into the battles of WWII.

The owner of the house, at that time, had the misfortune of having the first name of Adolph and from German ancestry. People were narrow minded enough to think that name and where he and his parents came from made the man. He was stared at and whispers heard as they passed. He was harassed.

So, to prove to these small minded people that he was an American and supported his country, he put up this flagpole and flew the flag daily.  There are people today that are still of narrow minds. That have forgotten that our country was founded by immigrants from many nations.  Part of my ancestors were already here when that migration began.

Some, including me,  pledge allegiance to this flag and some do not because they find that against their principles or religion.  That is their right and their choice.  Some make a big deal about “one nation under God”.  I don’t have a problem with that, yet, I can understand why some may.  There is a separation of church and state.  There is a purpose for that and it was including in the documents governing the nation at the time of its forming.

No one’s religious beliefs trumps the laws created for all. Those that think it is necessary to have those words and find fault if someone believes as I mentioned, need to remember this: those words were not added until 1954 to show the world that we differ from the Communists.  I guess they thought us Baby Boomers would grow up not knowing the difference. But, those men and women that fought in those wars, WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, did not need those words to fight for their country.  They honored that flag with their lives and carried their beliefs with them into battle, whatever they were.

Today, men and women still are servicing our nation, represented on the field by them and our flag. We should never send them into battle without negotiations and all efforts to keep them out of harm’s way and to always bring them home. Once home, give them the care they need for as long as they need it.  A nation that should never turn its back on any in need.  The young, the old, the disadvantaged. Because tomorrow it could be one of us or someone we love.  Don’t allow any to turn us against one another because some may be different or in a different place or of a different choice than we are.  We are one nation.

Our founding fathers took on the mightiest nation at that time, not because they didn’t love their mother country but because they believed they were not being recognized and rights limited.  They wanted freedom from tyranny, a King that was the church and its authority.  They wanted liberty for all and because they thought they could make a better country for themselves and for those to follow.

We are a nation of laws.  Most with Greek and Roman principles. Laws that are to encompass all citizens rights, not a few, and with choices.  A democracy. We are not just a Christian nation. That is but one of many beliefs that our country’s people have and that includes those that do not believe in a faith besides the one they have in themselves. Freedom to believe in what brings you peace of mind. Their spiritual choice.  Freedom to gather and worship and freedom to be alone and meditate.

Today we fly our flag for you, Mr. Adolph Kline, and all the veterans and all the citizens of the United States of America.  But, primarily on July 4th, we fly that flag in honor of those brave men and their families, our founding fathers, that took a chance on building a better place, a better country, a fair nation for them and all its citizens.  A work that did not stop with them. A building that will never be done. We build ahead, not back, and continually because of them.  And, our flag, long may it wave.

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Zeke
Member

Thank you for this article, Sally. It struck a chord with me as my grandfather emigrated from Germany after the war. He too had a flagpole in his front yard and for decades he was diligent in raising and lowering the flag on a daily basis, providing the weather was nice.

My grandfather was the hardest working man that I have ever known and likely will ever know. I just wish his work ethic had rubbed of on me. We miss him terribly, but life goes on.

You article was a fantastic hat tip to all of our veterans past and present. We all need to ensure that these men and women who serve this nation return home to the care they need and DESERVE.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Hey Buddy! I’m really glad you decided to post your story today. It’s such a great reminder of what this country is about and how, even though so many “foreigners,” were treated with suspicion and ridicule, they still believed in America. Many of those good people actually enlisted and fought for this country, despite the prejudice.

Your story reminded me of the young men and women who were born in America, to Japanese immigrant parents. They enlisted in all branches of the American military during WWII, even when their parents were suffering in the internment camps. That’s how much they believed in their country of birth. It just boggles my mind when I think of such selfless devotion.

One such regiment, made up almost entirely of the sons of Japanese parents was The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Nisei U.S. Army regiment which served in Europe during World War II. The 442nd arrived in Europe after the 100th Infantry battalion (another group of Japanese Americans) had already established its reputation as a fighting unit. In time, the 442nd became, for its size and length of service, the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

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SearingTruth
Member

Indeed gentle friend SallyT.
ST

“One of the greatest tragedies of our existence is that we are a people united by so many common goals, but divided by so many uncommon beliefs.

I believe that our goals are more important. We all want to be free. We all want our children to be healthy and happy. Most all of us want peace so long as our own rights are protected.

These are the ideals that we can all strive for together. These are the threads of humanity that cannot be torn apart.”
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave

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Kalima
Admin

So now dear Planeteers, I have to leave you as it’s my Saturday morning, the house needs cleaning, and somebody has to do it. Stinky litter boxes and all. 🙁

Have a great what is left of your 4th of July celebrations, and see you soon. Take care.

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SueInCa
Member

Thanks Sally, very good post. It is kind of ironic that yesterday I ran in to an opposite kind of situation. It was a lady of Japanese descent who was very definitely against African Americans. I told her that a few decades ago, it was her ancestors on the firing line, being blamed for something their “country of origin” had done, and not them. I further told her that during that time Japanese WERE Americans and they definitely did not like how they were treated, justifiably so. She told me that was the old days and now things are different. So only a few generations removed from bigotry against them, here she was saying that did not matter? I just shook my head and stopped talking but I was amazed that she thought it not relevant.

This morning I watched the AJA series, Borderland. There were 6 people from different walks of life and perspectives who took the journey to learn the stories of people who died trying to get to this country. There was a young lady from Arkansas who was the Leader of the Young Republicans and a young black lady who did a fashion blog out of Nevada. I was totally prepared to dislike the young republican as her initial intro sounded so very “valley girl Republican” and prepared to really like the black woman who was more liberal. The opposite happened. The young woman from ARkansas had a life changing experience and the young black lady really learned nothing. The Arkansas young lady admitted to her prejudice and made changes, the other woman did not. It turns out she was also very prejudiced against these people from Latin America.. She made a statement that Italian people came here, as did other nationalities, and they all spoke English. I wanted to reach in to that tv and ask her if she had ever been to little pockets of this country where immigrants from like countries gathered, lived and worked because the comfort of family, their traditions and their native tongue helped them to survive in a new country. It was very disappointing but I saw first hand that people can change and sometimes it is the least likely one who surprises the most.

The point of this is I do hope that Adolph and his family were able to let the prejudice fall by the wayside and I hope that Americans, at some point, apologized for their actions.

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Kalima
Admin

Hello Sally, nice post.

In a way I envy you all as I no longer have a country I can truly call home and feel proud of.

I haven’t lived in the country of my birth and childhood for many decades even though I have visited relatives often. My adopted country is going to the dogs run by incompetent Tories out to privatise everything that isn’t fastened down, coddling their rich friends, starving the poor, taking healthcare and education away from the needy and elderly and poor children.

The third country I now live in doesn’t give me a voice because of course as a non citizen I can’t vote out the RW thugs who now want to continue with nuclear power even after our 2011 disasters, and now want to change the Constitution so that they are freer to use the military even though they are forbidden to have a standing army since after WW2.

So after reading your post, and many of the comments around the site of the pride they feel for their nation, warts and all, I started wondering how it would feel, and decided that I really do miss it.

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sillylittleme
Member

I’d love to see you do a piece on nuclear. I have a friend, who despite evidence to the contrary and I have sent him every science based article I could, who is convinced nuclear should be part of any new energy policies we implement. And he peeved off a number of people at our favorite watering hole yesterday arguing with me. He didn’t admit it, but he didn’t read a bit of what I sent him.

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Kalima
Admin

Hi slm, when our disasters happened in March 2011, I braved the strong aftershocks which lasted through to the end of the year, to give daily news and links in my Morning Blog. I still do it now although not every day for many reasons, one of them being that I can’t see much out of my left eye, and the other because I often have difficulty typing because of a chronic illness, so tackling more than a few paragraphs is a challenge for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

If you are interested in news from here, or international news, option pieces and human interest stories, you can find me on MB every Thursday and Sunday. I’m in the Features box above the Recent Comments and Recent Posts to the right of your screen.

The problem is real, the company TEPCO and the government are lying, and we have had radioactive hotspots as far south as Tokyo.

Here is the link.

http://planetpov.com/2013/11/20/morning-blog-11-20-13/

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SueInCa
Member

Kalima

I watched a lot of the news surrounding the 2011 quake but I found a you tube online that really spooked me. The guy was filming outdoors in the Chiba(?) area of Tokyo and showed the ground opening up and shifting back and forth. Pretty soon the area was filling up with water and the water actually sounded like wave action. As that is a reclaimed area, it really spooked me to think what could happen in repeated quakes of 7 or more. I would think liquefaction might take place after a while? I know it is weird but that really freaked me out thinking of the total destruction of life and property if it went. Here is the vid I watched:

https://youtu.be/I3hJK1BoRak

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Kalima
Admin

That’s the main problem with reclaimed land, Sue and it’s been going on for decades, but people continue to build on it or rebuild in the same spot where their house was destroyed by a landslide. It shouldn’t be allowed because we get a lot of torrential rain here , and if Tokyo had no buildings, it would be a lush jungle because our heat last from May to October.

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sillylittleme
Member

Thanks. I’ll be sure to give it a look see. He keeps/kept arguing that because there were so few deaths that it couldn’t possibly have caused much harm. Apparently his ideas re: disasters is solely based on the body count. Oy vey!!

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SueInCa
Member

I totally agree with your comment below. It is irritating when a person who might otherwise be smart or even brilliant proves to be so clueless on another subject.

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Kalima
Admin

slm, if you ever find the time, this is from the MB archives from the time, even the day of the earthquake and tsunami, and beyond when we grasped the extent of the devastation.

Here is the link, and members here were very supportive though some very scary days.

http://planetpov.com/2011/02/12/morningblog/comment-page-10/#comments

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sillylittleme
Member

My other post was to who I thought was Kalima. That’s why the bit about Morning Blog. Turns out it was you. So sorry for the mix up… ;=}

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Kalima
Admin

Deaths from radiation can take up to 10 years and of those working and living directly near the Daiichi plant, there have been many deaths due to exposure. If you count the suicides of farmers having to cull their cattle, and those living for years in temporary housing, the count continues to climb. School grounds, homes and land are contaminated so that many can never go home again.

Maybe your friend should come here and take a dip in our glorious side of the Pacific Ocean. 😉

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sillylittleme
Member

I offered to take him myself on a vacation sometime in the not too distant future. Japan has been on my bucket list as I am a sushi aficionado and can’t get enough of the noodles and yummies that are found in Japanese bakeries in and around Boston. I will endeavor to keep educating him…

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SueInCa
Member

SLM tell him to wait a few years. Quite honestly, he is showing his ignorance on the subject by even making that statement. It was not a nuclear blast but a repeated release of radiation and that is going to harm people over many years as they slowly die. There are increased cases of thyroid problems already and there is a University Hospital nicknamed Dracula’s Castle for the types of things they are and have had to treat there. I am amazed day in and day out at how some people are not afraid to debate as they show their total lack of understanding on any given subject..

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sillylittleme
Member

I told him yesterday that in a decade we would be having a very different conversation. Sometimes it irks me when smart people can be so stupid because one points out the flaws in their argument. Reading morning blog now. I have a lot of reading to do. LOL!!

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kesmarn
Admin

Thanks so much Sally, for sharing the story of Adolph Kline’s experience during the war. When I read it I was wondering: when will we learn?

Adolph suffered discrimination based only on the name his parents gave him at birth. How senseless and — really, when it comes down to it — ignorant, no? And then there’s the horror of the Japanese internment camps. And we’d like to think: “Well, that was then. We’re better than that now.”

But then along came Barack Hussein Obama. Sigh. Need we say more?

That name alone is enough for some people to consider him a Muslim — not just a Muslim — but a sympathizer with terrorists. Apparently no further evidence is required beyond his name.

I’m glad you’re flying that new flag from Adolph’s flagpole today, Sally. It’s a sign of hope. Hope that we really will learn someday.

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Nirek
Member

Sally, this is for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shU_eiyVRvk

We need to learn from the past and do better.

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sillylittleme
Member

What a lovely tradition Sally. And I’m sure that Mr Kline appreciates you keeping that tradition alive. It is sad that so many believe that we should now shut the door to those who seek our refuge. Many of us come from ancestors who made it to this country for the purpose of freedom. It is too bad that they seem to forget that.

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Dbos
Member
Dbos

Great piece Sally ; some in our nation have shanghaied our flag saying it represents only certain people; you nailed it.

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Miles Long
Member
Miles Long

An abiding bitterness in me forces me to respond: At least they didn’t put Mr. Kline in a concentration camp in Utah like they did my father’s entire Japanese American family during that same war.

Miles “With Liberty And Justice For Whites” Long

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sillylittleme
Member

Sorry to hear that Miles. Segregating people based on the actions of a few is reprehensible. Especially since there was no evidence of collusion from one Japanese-American citizen. FDR made many mistakes in that war. Not the least of which was waiting as long as he did to get to Germany and to free those of my fellow tribespeople that perished needlessly.

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AdLib
Admin

Sally, what a wonderful tribute to the 4th of July! A very on-target expression of the independence and tolerance for others’ views of independence that really hits home.

The story of the flagpole itself is a perfect allegory for the tightwire we can walk between the respect for our independence and the social pressure of conformity…the antithesis of independence.

It can be a challenge to stay balanced on that tightwire, we see so many fall off spectacularly like the racists blocking the immigrant buses in Murietta who waved their plentiful American flags as they spoke hatefulness as a mob towards those yearning to breathe free.

And there’s the sad irony of the rest of The New Colossus poem on the Statue of Liberty that these embarrassments to America no doubt are clueless about:

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Happy 4th of July, Sally and a happy 4th to all Planeteers!

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