We went to the rip-roaring So. Ogden parade yesterday, where there were about 30 fire trucks, a couple of kids, and a goat… Ok, I made up that bit about the goat, just to make it sound sexy. Forgive me, I’m blaming that little lie on one of my favorite books, growing up.
Anyway, when the flag came by, right at the first, my wife and I told our kids to stand up and put our hands over our hearts. My son, who had just spotted the entire color guard, asked, “Why? Do they shoot you if you don’t stand up?”
It was a funny question. Sure enough, two of the guards had some wicked looking semi-automatic rifles. I assured him that nobody would be shot for not standing up for the flag, at least not at this parade. I almost went on to tell him that since we lived in a free country, you could actually burn the flag (at least for now) and not get shot. But then thought better of it. He is only 5, and that’s a bit too young to be putting counter-revolutionary thoughts into his head.
But it is nice to live in a place where you can express yourself. When I was a young’n, my mom used the phrase, “Eat your veggies, there are starving people in China.” Maybe the updated version should be, “Express yourself, there are those in the world who do not have such luxury.”