Old Glory: The true meaning of the American flag
Guy de Maupassant said that “For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know” In other words, you have never lived, until you’ve died.
These words were echoed by Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez. He was known for his remarkable bravery during the Vietnam War.
Roy came from a poor immigrant family. He left school early to support his parents. In 1966, he survived a landmine incident in Vietnam, and against all odds, regained his ability to walk.
He joined the Green Berets and rescued a besieged special forces team in a daring mission in 1968.
His heroism earned him the Medal of Honor from President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He passed away on November 29, 1998.
You have never lived until you die.
Old Glory: A poem by an unknown veteran
In 1991, David Losch filmed his speech where he shared the true meaning of the American flag.
He also encouraged his fellow veterans that those who fought to protect this country has a special place in God’s arms.
After all, it is the wounded that pray for peace the most because they are the ones who suffered the wounds of war.
He ended his speech with a poignant poem that an unknown veteran wrote and gave it Sergeant Benavidez through a nun who kept it.
“I Am Your Flag”
“Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star-Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I’m your flag, The Flag of the United States of America.
Something has been bothering me, so I thought I’d talk it over with you, because it’s about you and me. Not long ago, people were lining up on both sides of the street to see a parade go by, and naturally, I was leading that parade, proudly waving in the breeze.
And when your daddy saw me coming, he would immediately remove his hat and place it over his left shoulder so that his right hand would be over his heart. And you, you were standing there right next to your dad.
You didn’t have a hat, and your little sister, not to be outdone, was standing right next to you. Both of you had your right hand over your heart. What has happened now? I don’t feel as proud as I used to. I’m still the same ol’ flag.
I see children around playing, shouting. They don’t seem to know or care who I am or what I stand for. I saw an elderly man take his hat off, but when he saw others with theirs on, he turned around and slowly walked away. Hey, I’m still the same ol’ flag.
A few stars have been added since those parades long ago. A lot of blood has been shed. Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten who I am? What I stand for? And where I’ve been? Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea and Vietnam.
Take a good look one of these days at the memorial honor wall. Of all the names of all those that never came back. They gave their lives for this great nation to be free under God. When you salute me, you salute each and every one of them.
Well, it won’t be long now, and I’ll be coming down that street leading a parade, and proudly waving in the breeze. So, when you see me coming, stand up straight and salute. And I’ll salute you by waving back. And then I know that you remember.”