Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sorry, Haven’t Got My Other Flag Yet

Memorial Day is Monday and all I have is my American Flag. This is the flag that was given to my grandmother after my grandfather died; having served his country honorably in WWI. I have another flag in my closet, complete with a few empty shell casings tucked into the folds of the familiar triangle. The flag was given to my wife when her father was buried a few years ago; he also served our country honorably during WWII.

I remember the uniformed soldier played Taps on a trumpet and a small group of soldiers gave him a 21 gun salute at the end of the service. Lucy picked up some of the spent cartridges and placed them into the folded flag as she wept; we wept, for the loss of a good man. ( I find myself drying my cheeks even now)

Monday I will display my American Flag; letting it hang from the permanent hooks that I’ve anchored to the front of my home. I’ll watch Alan Ladd, Audie Murphy and John Wayne films, have a hot dog or a hamburger while eating my potato chips and sipping an ice cold Dr. Pepper. I plan to mow and edge my yard, sweep the driveway and spend time with my family and neighbors, all of them American citizens regardless of their race or religion.

To the Senate of the United States of America, more particularly, those who have made a travesty of our country’s borders; pay attention to what I am about to say. I live in Texas and Texas has a border which defines where Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico touch my state. Now, those folks up in Texarkana may be a bit confused about where that line passes; but in general, there isn’t a Texan around who would say, “I’m from Texas or there about”.

I was born in Oklahoma; but, thank heavens, I made my way to Texas. We don’t have a fence or a wall built up along the state borders ‘cause most of the time we agree on how things oughta’ be done. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Texas opened its border with Louisiana and let some of those folks in without checkin’ their ID; maybe that was a mistake, but if it was a mistake we did it for the right reasons. The folks in New Mexico got left out in the heat too long so they think they’re still in Texas; we cut them some slack since they mean well.

All that havin’ been said; we also have a fair stretch of land that touches Mexico. The last time I looked at a map, Mexico was not part of the United States; it bein’ a farn’ country and all, so we keep an eye on them rascals. I read where they evin’ have their own president, Vicente Fox, goin’ round talkin’ to folks in California and sayin’ things like, “We come in peace”, “Can we mow your yard” and things like that. I got a couple of things to say to Mr. Fox, “Remember the Alamo!” would be first followed by, “Get your tortilla lyin’ butt back across the border afore’ we really get pissed.”

I don’t plan on buyin’ no damned Mexican flag to hang next to my American flag. I don’t plan on goin’ down to Mexico anytime soon; you know, driving across at one of them border crossing points where the line in the sand has been defined, and then havin’ to drive back through that same check point on the way back to see if I bought too much at the local flea market.

Ya’ see, I’m an American citizen; I live here legally and think that those who live here ought to live here legally too. I put in a fence around my yard to let my neighbors know where their yard ends and mine begins; didn’t ask them if it was okay since the fence is on my property and I was payin’ for that fence. Maybe somebody needs to explain how borders and fences work to the Senate. That oughta ‘bout sum up my feelins’.
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