Americans Take a Stand to Show Respect for Old Glory

Some of you folks may remember a Major League Baseball player by the name of Rick Monday.

He was a two-time All-Star who played in two World Series. He earned a World Series ring in 1981 while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Over the course of 19 seasons with three big league teams, Monday made many great plays.

But the play he is best remembered for did not involve a baseball. Or a bat. Or a glove.

Remarkable Rescue

On April 25, 1976, Monday was playing centerfield for the Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles.

Suddenly two protesters armed with matches and lighter fluid left their seats and ran onto the outfield. They then knelt down and attempted to set an American flag on fire.

But just as suddenly, Monday left his position and raced toward them. On the run, he scooped up the flag from the young men’s hands and ran through the infield with it. He then handed the Stars and Stripes to a Dodgers player for safekeeping. The protesters were arrested.

When Monday came to bat the next inning, he received a standing ovation from the opposing team’s fans. The outfield message board read: “Rick Monday… You Made a Great Play.”

A Cherished Memento

Forty-two years later, Monday still keeps that same flag in his home.

Two years ago he told a Chicago newspaper, “My thoughts have not changed from the time I was raised to that moment in 1976 when those two guys were trying to ignite the American flag and disrespect those that have stood up for us and represent the rights and freedoms that all of us have.”

Monday is not the only person to show respect for Old Glory though. There are countless stories of Americans who believe the flag represents the sacrifice our fallen heroes have paid for our liberty.

A Simple But Symbolic Gesture

Last month, Kees Anderson and Nikki Thompson were walking in Mobile, Alabama. Nearby, a man grabbed an American flag from its pole and stomped on it.

When Anderson and Thompson saw the crumpled flag lying on the ground, they picked it up, folded it and left it on a doorstep.

As it turned out, their patriotic action was caught on a surveillance camera and went viral.

Anderson, 24, who works in the U.S. Coast Guard, said: “It means a lot to me”, about the Stars and Stripes.

A Meaningful Moment

Thompson, 25, said picking up the flag seemed like “such a small thing. A simple act of kindness.”

To Anderson, it meant more.

He said the flag “is a symbol of what our country stands for and what these people have literally sacrificed their lives for and done heroic things for – all in the name of that flag.

“And it’s pretty important to me that you show respect.”

War Hero’s Widow Sees Her Flag Fly

Two other individuals recently went out of their way to show respect for Old Glory.

Last week in Portland, Maine, the widow of a Pearl Harbor survivor called the local fire department. She was hoping to get some assistance in displaying her flag.

The 97-year-old Ellen Peoples was unable to raise the flag on her pole due to a damaged rope. She had received the flag as a gift from a local veterans group.

Firefighters Ronald Giroux and Jessie Peters used their fire truck to hoist her flag so it would be waving in the breeze on July 4. As they did, Mrs. Peoples watched with joy.

40,000 Flags Fly Proudly

Sometimes it’s not just an individual or two who demonstrate their love for the American flag. Sometimes it takes a village.

The city of Irving, Texas honored the Fourth of July holiday yesterday. They did it by flying approximately 40,000 American flags in front of homes, businesses and places of worship.

About 300 volunteers walked around the town, handing out flags to anyone interested in displaying it.

It all started a few years back. A woman named Nell Hunt placed a few flags in front of her neighbors’ homes shortly after she moved to Irving.

They liked it so much that she bought 200 flags to hand out. The next year she purchased 400. Then city officials decided to take it to another level.

Flag Exchange Program

Many of us own American flags and fly them regularly or on holidays. But sometimes our flags get old and a bit tattered.

The Art Van furniture store, located in six states, decided to resolve that situation.

They announced that anyone who wanted a new American flag could stop by and exchange their old one for it.

This is the same store that gave away 10,000 new flags for Memorial Day.

Fly Your Flags

I’d like to encourage all of you to fly your American flags proudly whenever you feel it’s appropriate.

For some, that’s all the time. For others, it’s just on holidays.

Regardless, let your neighbors know how proud you are to be an American. And how important your flag is to you.

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