The flag deserves our respect

The flag deserves our respect

​I am the flag!

I am born of immigrant parents. My parents and their ancestors left their respective homelands and arrived on the shores of the United States. They left behind them their birthright and national origins for the privilege to become citizens in a new land.

They were not part of the history of the making of the United States, but through their application for citizenship they were educated as to the human sacrifice of those who went before them, who’s blood was shed not only for the protection of the citizens of the United States, but for the citizens of other countries who called upon us for help, when they themselves were oppressed. Effectively, my parents’ citizenship entitled them to be a piece of the fabric of our flag, a piece of that flag we are all a part of. Servicemen and women laid down their lives for the cause of the freedom the United States enjoys to this day. All for the cause which is emblematically displayed when our flag is unfurled.

So it is that my flag, which by the way is also your flag, holds a sacred significance and to quote Voltaire, “I may disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Consequently, I will leave you with this thought. Be part of what I represent, the flag, respect me and defend me for what I stand for. If you must, for whatsoever your need be to demonstrate your displeasure, please don’t disrespect me when you show your displeasure, after all I have done for you. For I am our symbol of liberty and freedom. So please don’t tread on us for we are our flag.

Jeremiah O’Connor

Pawtucket

O’Connor is chairman, Pawtucket Public Safety Retirees Association.