The sun shined down brightly on a small American town as children of all ages watched their friends, family, and neighbors parade down Main Street in celebration of their American heritage.
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) solemnly marched, hoisting flags in white-gloved hands, followed by the first responders and a mixture of volunteer departments and small, city funded fire and ambulance companies.
Two high school marching bands — rivals in school, sport, and music — led cheerleaders, dance teams, a herd of Llamas, equestrian and hunting dog clubs, and vintage farm tractors down the two-mile route. And politicians, of course – no festival is complete without them.
What do these groups all have in common? Every single entrant in the tiny cavalcade waved, with pride, Old Glory. I’ll say it again, just to be perfectly clear: Every. Single. One.
And the spectators lining the streets were moved to tears.
Lounging on camp chairs, guzzling iced tea, and cheering on the mayor and elected officials, parents hooted and hollered, neighbors walked onto the street to tag along and visit, and kids called out to the parade participants to throw the obligatory candy.
Jackson, a Desert Storm veteran and grandparent of a band member, remarked between salutes:
“I don’t understand how any American – no matter where you live – could dishonor the country, those who fought for freedoms, and keeping us safe. I can’t understand that attitude. Of burning and stomping on our flag. I couldn’t do it. I would be physically ill.”
Former President Ronald Reagan assured his America, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
With the civil war bubbling up today between freedom loving Americans and the dangerous undercurrent of a generation bent on destroying the Republic, the people of flyover country, once again, are holding their ground valiantly against tyranny. And rural people are raising their kids right. I asked a little girl, who had a flag painted on her cheek, if she recited the Pledge of Allegiance at her school, and after the look of “how dumb are you lady?” faded from her scrunched-up face, she happily recited it to me.
Complete with “under God.”
These Colors Don’t Run
The people of the Heartland are routinely derided by the left and right coasts as uneducated, redneck, or rube – and it is a sad and tragic condition, as that is a most egregious assessment.
Hillary sparked their ire as she frustratingly referred to Middle Americans as “Deplorable.” And, it appears, Democrats have learned naught from the uprising in 2016, as former Vice President Joe Biden, has declared conservatives to be the “dregs of society.”
The fire of patriotism was stoked during the socialist “down your throats” reign of President Barack Obama and ignited with the working people’s diesel fuel — and it now roars with an inextinguishable intensity.
Our nation’s 30th president, Republican Calvin Coolidge, once said, “Patriotism is easy to understand in America – it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”
He was a much-admired statesman who was honored by Alfred E. Smith, a four-term Democrat governor of New York: “His great task was to restore the dignity and prestige of the Presidency when it had reached the lowest ebb in our history … in a time of extravagance and waste.”
The people of the Heartland believe they elected Donald J. Trump to do the same. And make no mistake, they are the truest of patriots, often espousing an anonymous sentiment to warn the ungrateful, “If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag.”