1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



STANDARD: A flag, ensign, or banner, used as a distinctive emblem of a government , body of men or military unit.
Dan Duff

Its funny how you get so accustomed to some things that it takes a great tragedy to shake us back to reality. For months I had seen people with those little flags that hang from the rear view mirror proclaimed their standard. There were Cuban, Puerto Rican, African, Swedish and host of other little standards that these people wanted everyone to know just where their loyalties lay. About a month ago for this reason, I bought an American flag. A huge flag, with a pole and string, along with a wall attachment. I took it home and put it up for all my neighbors to see and know my standard. Where my loyalty lay.

I would turn on the TV and there would be programs with people who proclaim themselves as hyphenated Americans. That seems so funny to me. If you were born here and you have a birth certificate, you are an American. I have looked up my family tree and see it go toward this country and that country. I am proud of the fact that I can tell you the Duff’s country of origin. I can chase down the descendants of these same Duff’s to the ends of the earth. There are Scottish Duffs, Irish Duffs, Australian Duffs, German Duffs, and yes even American Duffs. Make no mistake about it, I am not a hyphenated American. Just American. Now suddenly, it is very chic to be American. Not just American, but flag waving, ready to get our hands dirty, giving and volunteering American.

Being a sports fan, I have watched a lot of sports and it got so in the last ten years or so the sports announcers would cut away for commercials during the playing of our National Anthem. At first it was a little puzzling, but after awhile it just became the norm and we all bought into it as the way business is run. Now suddenly, we don’t cut away during the National Anthem, but stay with it for two verses of God Bless America and the whole tape by Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the USA."

Over the last few decades we have told God to get out of the schools, the courts and the government. He could stay in Church as long as he did not move into the street or mention the name of His son.

Now suddenly, He is welcome everywhere. Even the President, who started evoking his name during the elections is now asking for His help as he stands in front of the combined assembly of congress. He asked God to bless America while looking directly at the nine justices seated in the front row. It is even OK now to wear a tee shirt with the flag and "God bless America" printed on it.

Is this pointing to some diabolical plot by the right wing to make America conservative? Is this some sort of shift in our basic attitudes? Are we returning to the 40’s and 50’s in our thinking?

Starting in the 60’s until now we have been a fragmented society. The more years went by, the more fragmented we became. Now we are all of one purpose, of one goal, of one resolve. This is the first time since the 50’s when we all have a common enemy. Osama Bin Laden has done in one moment what all the preachers and teachers and politicians have been unable to do for 40 years. He has re-united these United States.

We see people waiting for 5 hours to give blood. We have charities with their chests full of gold and at the sites of the tragedies, volunteer are being turned away. This is the country we older citizens remember it to be. This is the country that once it sets its sight upon a goal will leave no stone unturned to see that the objectives are reached. We are doing it under one flag, one standard.

Now that we are united, now that we have this resolve to see our problems solved. Lets ask ourselves some basic questions. What can I do to get involved? What can I do to strengthen our country against this ever happening again? What can I do to keep this solidified effort going on and on and on. What can I do to keep alive the idea that God has blessed America and will again if we just let Him be welcome here.