Commentary

July 26, 2013

Avoiding retreat is cowardly

Tags:
Jo Rowe
81st Inpatient Operations Squadron

An Airman salutes the flag during Retreat.

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -It was one of the first beautiful days in a very long while in and around Bolling Air Force Base, District of Columbia. Rain was predicted, but I was hoping it would hold out until I completed the walk to my on-base residence.

As I was about to walk out of the Maisey Building, I noticed three enlisted members, three officers and one civilian with her newborn waiting by the exit doors; such a big pile-up for this time of day.

My heart sank. Could it be those deep blue skies and white puffy clouds turned dark gray with huge raindrops just waiting to signal the burst? Or was the rolling of the thunder and the dancing of the lightning enough to crowd everyone back into the building until the coast was clear? Nope … Neither.

To my extreme disappointment, these people were “self locked” inside, because they didn’t want to be caught outside during the playing of our national anthem.

I was very saddened.

As my husband and I approached the door, everyone parted for us to get past. As we were walking through the doors, the music stopped. Everyone piled out as if a store had just announced 75 percent off at a day-after-Christmas sale.

I said to my husband, “You know what, honey? I am really sickened when I see people who refuse to come outside and acknowledge our National Anthem. Have they forgotten that this song, along with other things, stands for our freedom? What are they afraid of? The cowards!”

Even I, a dependent spouse at that time, am familiar with the courtesies we are supposed to observe when the national anthem is being played. Even though my husband was shocked to hear me call people whom I did not know cowards, he said he understood.

I have always felt this way. If you appreciate what you have, who you are and where you come from, you should appreciate the national anthem and all it represents.

My husband tried to tell me that hiding like that was, indeed, against military courtesies, but I tuned him out as I continued to ramble on about how insensitive I felt these people were.

What on earth was keeping those folks from standing proud and saluting or placing their hand over their hearts? No excuse is acceptable.

So I looked around as everyone rushed to their cars and I thought of the men and women fighting for our freedom. I thought of how proud I am of each and every one of them and how they wouldn’t be proud of those Americans who chose to stay inside instead of coming out to salute their flag – the very item that drapes the coffins of our fallen to their final resting place.

Maybe my words here will help change for the better, the courtesies we render, or ought to render, during reveille and retreat on base.

Don’t cower from the nation anthem. Be proud. Go outside and salute the flag, or place your hand over your heart and stand tall. If not for yourself, then do it for your American brothers and sisters fighting to keep you free.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-1

Leadership Lessons: Do you know our Air Force Heritage?

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez The United States Air Force was founded by the aviators who learned their tradecraft in World War I, like Capt. Frederick Libby who became the first American ace. America...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- In the late 1920s, in a Supreme Court decision, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes justified sterilizing a young girl.  He stated, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from...
 
 
U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

15 seconds: A rude awakening

U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter Airmen and their families hit the road every summer to travel and enjoy a little relaxation. When making travel arrangements that involve driving long distances, be sure...
 

 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

Who are you living for, or in other words who is writing your life’s story?  Do you call the shots in life or is there someone bigger?  The famed writer Wendell Berry says, “the significance – and ultimate quality – of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which...
 
 

The voice within

LANGLEY AFB, Va.†-†”Can your significant other sexually assault you?” The answer was a resounding silence. No one knew how to answer the “Sex Signals” speaker. I knew. I knew the answer. Rather, the sudden urge to vomit and then excuse myself from the auditorium gave me my answer. “Yes. Oh, my God. Yes,” said a...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School makes this observation about what truly matters in life.  ”If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern:...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>