While we wait for the world to find a new normal I was reminded that today is flag day.  It’s the day a couple of centuries ago when the then Continental Congress adopted a Flag for our fledging nation.  The Stars and Stripes became the ensign for the United States. That happened on June 14, 1777.

As a boy the 14th  of June was an important day.  Back then the school year ended in the third week of June and Flag day meant that school would soon be over and we’d be freed from books and shoes.  There would be long summer days in cut off blue jeans and white teeshirts.  Bike rides to buy ice cream or a candy bar.  We’d collect bottles and to get the deposit refund to pay for popcorn at the movies.

On the Fourth of July there would be the smoke from fireworks.  The high pitched scream of a Piccolo Pete and drawing of light pictures in the air with the sparklers.

Carefree and happy days in a time when everything seemed possible.

But too soon it would be Labor Day and school starting that first week in September.  The next grade, a year older, and with new clothes we go back to the classroom.  “What did you do this summer?” The first question, the first writing assignment.

Today I sit here writing, struggling for something to say.  The flag no longer holds the same meaning of summer joys or a patriotic fireworks display.  The unity that flag meant to me as child seems crumbling as our world seeks that new normal we’ve been hoping for.

As I write this, I’m listening to my writing play list – a group of songs and music that I always find helps me focus on writing.  As I get to the end of this essay I find I’m listening to that great The Brothers Four rendition of Try To Remember and that line, “Try to remember the kind of September/When life was slow and oh, so mellow”

Now I listen to it and I remember … so many things that have passed into memory.

Given the state of the world today, I do wonder what memories there the children growing up in these confused times will have in 50 years.  I worry that we’ve failed them.

I do hope that whatever happens from here, we can find a way to unite in love and respect to build a world where we strive to build happy memories and learn to truly care for each other.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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21 Responses to Remembering

  1. Our children’s memories will be different than ours, but I don’t think we have failed them.
    Maybe because of what is happening now, they will have a much deeper appreciation for freedom.
    The freedom to travel, or even simply to go out and meet other people.
    Maybe when they are adults, they will remember what it looks like when people have no respect for other people’s property— when stores and businesses are burnt down to the ground, things are stolen without regard, cars are smashed and destroyed, and multi-colored paint is sprayed all over everything until entire neighborhoods are trashed. Temper tantrums never accomplish anything.
    Hopefully the children will see and understand that it makes absolutely no sense to tear your ‘house’ apart when you are angry. Now others will have to spend time cleaning up all of this destruction (in the middle of a pandemic).
    With a little guidance, maybe children will learn something from all of this, because there is much to be learned. One important lesson is that life is a gift that should be respected and never taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    Your post took me to childhood days when my brother and I spent the whole summer vacation in our maternal grandparents’ home in a small town. My father worked in Indian Railways and we made the long journey to spend two wonderful months with cousins and relatives. At the end of the holidays we felt sad that it would be one more year before we returned. Life was so different then. I too wonder what my grandchildren will remember of these days. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I try to remember that progress isn’t a straight line. The downturns are hard to take, but I keep hoping the trend is positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christi says:

    What I hope for our children is that they will remember this time as when we finally began to open our eyes to injustice and seek solutions. It’s a lot to hope for, I know. But there’s always a chance, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Baydreamer says:

    Well expressed, Andrew, and I, too, wonder what our children will remember as they grow older. Our kids (25 & 28) have definitely experienced more heartache from world events than my husband and I have. I love that song and have the same hopes and wishes as you do. Thanks for this insightful post…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I took the flag for granted when I was young–respected it but didn’t think much about it. Even as a new homeowner, I didn’t pay attention to hanging it outside on days like Flag Day. Now, I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a child, flag day was just another day off. The adults in my life did little to explain or highlight the importance or history of the flag. I always put my flag out on the important days of remembrance.


  7. jfwknifton says:

    We had a BBC programme recently which had a young American lawyer and a young English man asking him what was most wrong with the American legal system. He said it was two things. (1) the percentage of the the budget spent on police training and re-training was way too small and resulted in policemen who reacted to a difficult situation in an unprofessional way. (2) Imprisoning people who cannot pay their fines. Why not an alternative? A $300 dollar fine, or three weeks in prison.
    I don’t have the foggiest idea if the young man was right, but he did say that it would improve the lot of poor black people enormously, and give them a better opinion of the police. And that was months before the dreadful events of the past couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are two of the problems we face. There is more to it, but if we just addressed the training aspects and start teaching deescalation methods we’d got a long way towards fixing things. In the past we’ve had laws put on the books that prevent judges from giving alternative sentences. Fines are an undue burden on the poor and to the rich they are meaningless as a form of punishment. The whole system needs to be rethought.


  8. Ray V. says:

    Yes, what are we leaving for those that come behind us?

    With the violence and lack of respect that is running rampant, memories of our childhood keep us safe, albeit for a short time. . . Until we open our eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The people of the world have faced adversity over and over in the past, Andrew. I read a book which I finished last night about the defeat of the Anglo Saxon’s by William the Conqueror and what it meant for the British people who had already suffered subjugation at the hands of the Romans and then the Anglo Saxons. People will come through this and learn from it eventually. That is the way of humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. David Prosser says:

    I think if you can all face having your police forces reorganized and ensuring all the bigots there are sacked or ready to make personal changes, then there’s no reason you can’t go on to make a world full of love and respect and where you can love and care for each other.

    Liked by 2 people

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