Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flying Flags

Two weekends ago I had an outstanding volunteer opportunity at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The Friends of Flight 93, an organization of which I belong, offered its members the chance to fly flags at the headquarters of the National Park Service, near the site. Flags are raised, lowered, and shipped off to Washington D. C. In D. C. the national office, under the direction of King Laughlin, mails the flags that have been flown to donors who have given at least $93.00 It was an outstanding summer day complete with blue skies. It was quite a sight to watch each flag rise up the pole toward that blue sky. It reminded me of other flags through history such as the one at Iwo Jima at the end of the Pacific campaign in 1945 in World War II. Or the flag in NYC raised by rescue workers and first responders on 9/11. I blogged earlier about my stint as a Plaza Greeter. One gentleman told me he enjoyed the Memorial, but had one suggestion-that the flag outside the Plaza fly at half mast-all the time. I was told by a park ranger that there are rules and laws governing this. The two days I volunteered there was also some disapproval at the appearance of a man who had exercised his First Amendment rights. He had set up a table with some signs and brochures. His sign said Flight 93 had been shot down. Now this isn't a new claim of course, but people were still upset at his presence on hollowed ground. Several people said what I thought too-that his protest or rather his right to protest is what makes America great and is one of the "things" the flag stands for.

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