Who is responsible for protecting the democracy’s freedoms? Clearly, all Americans should cherish freedom and be watchful of people with power and influence who will justify why a freedom must be forfeited. “Today is different from the time of the founding fathers,” they might say. President Thomas Jefferson warned us that the greatest threat to democracy would come, disguised as a foreign threat.
Americans do indeed notice foreign threats. Surely, those of us who have family members who are the troops (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Reservists from all four branches of service, National Guardsmen, and Coast Guardsmen) pray a little harder when it is family who steps up to face the foe. What about the rest of you? Do you keep up with current events by watching a news program? Perhaps you view a blog or get a tweet about how our troops are doing. Someone at work organizes a drive to send the troops a box of goodies and stuff. You toss in a bag of beef jerky and a paperback novel. It was a good book, and you are done reading it anyway. Is this enough? Would Thomas Jefferson be proud of you?
The Girl Scouts
Last week, the mother of a girl scout gave a shout on our neighborhood association website to contact her if any neighbors had faded American flags to donate to the Girl Scouts. We had two of the flags. My family has been flying one in front of our house nearly every day since 911. After awhile, they get worn out and need to be replaced. I feel bad about getting rid of the faded flags in any way other than burning even though the supreme court ruled that we can do what we want with the symbol of our nation. I assumed that the Girl Scout were going to collect the old flags and have them burned. Partly, this was true, but there is more to the story. The Girl Scouts have branded some scrumptious cookies for sure, but that is not what they are about. Their mission is to shape the character of girls, to give them confidence, courage, and to teach them to be a positive influence in the world. Their power is personal networking. If one girl can make a difference, then even more like-minded young girls can band together to improve their community, their state, their country. So were the Girl Scouts going to give a proper funeral for the worn out American Flags? You bet they were! But, first, they cut out the stars, the embroidered stars of the better old flags, and they got some faded blue fabric with those stars too.
Watchful for our Freedom With Compassion for the Troops
Girl Scout leaders teach the girls about our country, how democracy works, the power of the vote and how hard women had to work to get it for themselves. They explain duty, honor, and country to them and they teach them the noble act of serving. Our troops are serving, so the Girl Scouts honor them. One of the ways that many Girl Scout Troops do that is by participating in the “Stars for our Troops” Project. http://www.starsforourtroops.org/. An embroidered star is carefully cut from a faded flag, placed in a sealable small plastic bag, with this note: “I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that You are not forgotten.” Then they send them to the troops.
The Kindness of American Citizens
The Girl Scouts are not the only ones doing this, but I wanted you to know that they are doing it. They feel pretty good about it too. Our young girls are learning to be responsible and kind citizens while the grow up to become anything they want to be + they are still going to be the sweethearts of America, the ones that make family and home special. Ask the troops. They will tell that is what they fight for. And, they carry those stars with them as good luck charms. I wish they really were good luck charms. America’s soul wear’s a uniform. And, I just learned that America’s heart wears a Girl Scout uniform. God Bless the Girl Scouts!