Posts Tagged ‘patriotism’


Today is Flag Day. Fly em’ high and proudly. I’ll not go into the origination of Flag Day. It might as well be called Constitution Day, Patriots Day or whatever. Yes the flag means different things to different people. I am always hurt by protesters, American or foreign, burning or otherwise desecrating the flag. I am equally hurt by those from either the Right or the Left who mock the Constitution or choose to only honor a small portion of it for their own selfish wants. When others’ rights, color, beliefs, backgrounds, lifestyles, politics or whatever don’t fit with their own, then they sometimes choose to burn the flag in protest disregarding the lives and sacrifices that made their right to do that possible. Many, who would do this, would just as quickly burn the Constitution itself, or all that it implies, to exercise their right to express themselves. Yes, it is just a flag, a piece of cloth, but isn’t it beautiful?


All but the northwest corner of Iowa has been declared a disaster area. The floods and weather are truly affecting many throughout the country. Any state with a river or creeks and clouds overhead have been affected. I’m sure Cedar Rapids is having its own Katrina feelings. Any place having to endure these difficult times, including floods and earthquakes in Asia or elsewhere, as well, know the feeling.

I am always overwhelmed by the united efforts that go into fighting these things. No one sandbagging cares whether the person next to you is white or black, male or female, rich or poor, young or old. They are all there. The NCAA Track Championships are at Drake University this week in Des Moines. Team after team from South Carolina to Oregon, shared in flood duty between events. The 833rd National Guard unit I welcomed home from Iraq last Saturday, is, this week on flood duty here in Ottumwa working around the clock to protect this community.

A levee was breached last night in Des Moines after days of effort by thousands, spreading the water into new neighborhoods. Cedar Rapids has lost their battle. Iowa City and the University of Iowa are at break point. Here in Ottumwa, our Market Street bridge is at water level. It and down town are still closed, as new levees are built and old ones raised and strengthened. We had a four inch horrendous rain, just at the wrong time, on Thursday evening, but a week earlier, the town of Creston had 10 inches. So it goes. City officials remain confident that we will be able to withstand the worst that is coming, although that is little comfort to the people in outlying and low areas already flooded. This will be, most likely, a month long fight, and then years long recovery for some communities.


T.R. No, not Teddy Roosevelt, as greatly as he is regarded. This T.R. is Tim Russert, another great American. We are shocked by his untimely death. All you had to do was look at him and his smile and hear his comforting voice and you liked and respected him. He has been part of my Sunday ritual of watching the news shows, which good wife Pat, sometimes (always) finds irritating. I go to all the networks, one after another, cable shows and public TV included. Meet The Press with Tim Russert was always part of that ritual. Maybe unfairly, I have been more critical of him the past couple of years. I felt he had become a little more interested in creating sensation and carried some questioning far beyond what was necessary without letting the person being interviewed express his own opinion, unless it was going to come out as Tim wanted. But that’s the way it works. However, always fair, probably as fair as they come and truly one of the great ones. Before Meet The Press he worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In my imperfect list of greats since WWII, Moynihan was at the top, and oh how I wanted him, before his death, to be our President. Russert was a part of that. Sunday mornings, and political campaigns won’t be the same without Tim Russert.

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