If today is your birthday, celebrate it. If it’s your anniversary, celebrate it. If it’s your kid’s recital, talent show, first lost tooth, go, enjoy, celebrate the changes. Take a deep breath and be glad to be alive, and take back your day.
Take it back. It’s yours. Don’t let them have it.
Will we have another surge of National Pride today? Will it last? Will people haul out the flags they out away, or replace they ones they just weren’t ready to store? And will Other People not grind their teeth at the show of what they think is bandwagon patriotism and just let them fly a flag without being made to feel like a lemming?
Yes, people started flying the flag last year. But it wasn’t out of pretentious patriotism; people had their reasons for it.
For some, flying the flag was an in-your-face, red-white-and-blue Fuck You to anyone in this world who would blink twice in the direction of the U.S. It was Empowerment. Capital E intentional.
I suspect for most people, though, flying the flag fulfilled an emotional need. It wasn't sudden patriotism, it wasn't jumping on the bandwagon to be that Perfect All American, all apple pie and cookie cutter God Fearing US Citizen... it was a blanket, a bandage to cover a deep, deep wound.
Face it, for most of us, even those of us who had friends in NY who are still suffering the emotional backlash of a year ago, and for those of us who had friends who are still grieving the loss of family, there was literally nothing we could do. Someone kicked us all in the teeth, but individually we couldn't hit back. There was a collective owie, and people needed a collective Band Aid.
That Band Aid was the flag... People wrapped themselves in it for comfort, not necessarily out of a surge of patriotism, but of a need for something indefinable. The flag became Mom's late night, make-you-feel-better cookies and milk. It's tangible, something that can be touched, felt, seen...
And as the healing began, people began to take the Band Aid off. The pressing need to fly the flag wasn't as great. Yes, greater respect should have been paid to the flag itself, and those that became tattered should have been removed and replaced, but the circumstances are not the norm. Some people are not, not even now, ready to give up the thing that made them feel even just a tiny bit better, not even to replace it with something identical.
They still need time. And that should be ok.
I don't think it was ever bandwagon patriotism. For the most part, the surge of flags flying was the Band Aid, the security blanket people needed.
Seize the day, friends. Be glad you’re alive.
I know I am.