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.


 
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially...
 
 

Don’t underestimate the importance of sacrifices

As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations today, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April of 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We were married later that...
 
 

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

- What captures your attention?  We look forward to better homes, better jobs, families that don’t fight.  We plan for retirement and hope to live out our days in peace.  But as one person so aptly states, “we plan for happiness, but we’re formed by suffering.”  A foundation that does not give way to the...
 

 
rufit-edit

RUfit? Thriving outside the biodome

Staying fit, sharpening our knowledge about suicide and building resiliency are all hot topics in today’s Air Force. As all of these elements are crucial, resiliency encompasses almost everything that weighs heavy in our ...
 
 

Everyone can be great

A few weeks ago, a football player for the Dallas Cowboys was asked what he’d like from the playoff game home crowd. The player, J.J. Wilcox, responded, “Just be great.” For some reason, that phrase stuck in my mind, and it continued to nag me. Then, I realized why.  One of my foundational beliefs is...
 
 

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

- An article in the Atlantic Monthly asked the readers to think about things that lead them astray.  If we put it in religious categories, the things that typically lead us astray are: lust, fear, vanity, gluttony.  They are in the words of the author, “the fulfillment of momentary and passing desires.” Why are we...
 




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>