What the flag means to me

A. Myers , Staff Reporter

Private First Class Austin Ramon
US Army
PFC Austin Ramon, 19, serves in the US Army. He is among millions of Americans who are outraged when people disrespect our nation’s flag.


I come from a long line of military veterans. My great great grandfather was in World War 1, my great grandfather was in World War 2, my grandfather served in the US Army and retired after 20 years. My dad retired after serving 20 years in the Navy and my brother is currently serving in the US Army.

As long as I can remember, in school we were taught to stand for the pledge. On a military base each morning and evening people would freeze, cars would stop, and everyone would face the direction of the flag as it is raised and later as it is retired for the night.

I remember waking up to the sounds of the trumpets, with the pledges being played over the radio. It was out of respect to show a love for our country, it was simply American to stand and recite the pledge. Our family flew a flag at our house and I have always felt pride to be American and to have the freedoms we have.

These freedoms do not come free.

My family has fought and is currently fighting and serving to protect the freedoms that we love. To a military family, the flag can also symbolize the ultimate sacrifice  as a flag is draped over a coffin. A carefully folded flag is given to the family of the fallen soldier, sailor , airman, or marine. I was lucky. My family never had to open the door to that dreadful scene of two soldiers at the door. But, my parents have had friends who have.

It seems as though many do not take time to think about what the flag really means. It can be easy, I admit. It can be boring, the same thing everyday, a waste of time to stop for a few minutes to stand attention… to pledge allegiance to a flag. It can be easy to forget by those who take another’s sacrifice for granted.

It will never be taken for granted by me. My brother is fighting for this country be in mind he is only 19 and is newly married. My parents have taught us to respect our country, the flag and what it stands for. I have seen  a fire in my brothers eyes when he would see people disrespecting , stomping o n, or burning the flag. When the pledge comes on over the speakers or when the the national anthem is played publicly I am saddened by what i have seen and heard.

People look up to professional athletes, teachers, coaches, and even other students around. Therefore, it is our responsibility to show others the respect that our flag deserves . If anything show respect for the flag out of respect to those who come home under one.