During the past week, many of us were remembering Pearl Harbor and discussing the strong feelings of patriotism we learned at an early age.
Although we were very young on Dec. 7, 1941, we knew the seriousness of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Our parents and our teachers made us aware of the beginning of World War II and explained what was happening so we could concentrate on what we as children could do.
Of course, we couldn’t do much, but we spent many hours collecting iron and other metals to be sent to factories to be used in the making of our own bombs. We could also save our pennies to buy War Stamps to paste into our little books so we could amass a minimum of $25 to purchase a War Bond. We felt that we were lending our money to the government to help pay for the war.
At Central School, as at other schools throughout our land, we gathered around the flag pole each morning to watch the flag being raised and to say The Pledge of Allegiance. We took that activity very seriously and stood at attention while we said the words at full voice.
We were, and still are, proud to be Americans and wanted everyone to know it. Our families gathered around the radio to listen to President Roosevelt give the fireside chats as he explained what was happening and encouraged each of us to do our share in the war effort. We also listened to as many newscasts as we could to know what was going on with our troops.
As some of us were exchanging memories of those years, we also began talking about flag etiquette and how often it is ignored. We see tattered flags flying at government buildings and note that some are flown at night without having lights shining on them.
We also discussed how often of late we have noticed that few flags in town are flown at half-staff when ordered by the President or the governor. We can usually count on those orders being followed at the post office and at the government building in the 700 block of South First. No one seemed to know why so little attention has been paid to such orders.
Most of us tend to stand a little taller as we see our flag and realize how fortunate we are to have it to remind us of the pride we have in our country. We are aware that patriotism is still alive and well even though we may not show it as openly as we did during WWII.
We also appreciate the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” as we hear them and realize what a privilege it is to be an American.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.