I remember some time ago people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade and naturally I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze, when your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that the hand was directly over his heart ... remember?
And you, I remember you. Standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart ... remember?
What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I have a few more Stars since you were a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago.
But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance and then you look away. Then I see the children running around you shouting ... they don't seem to know who I am ... I saw one man take his hat off then look around, he didn't see anybody else with theirs off so he quickly put his back on.
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been? ... Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea and Vietnam. Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometimes, of those who never came back to keep this Republic free ... One Nation Under God ... when you salute me, you are actually saluting them.
Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart ... and I'll salute you, by waving back ... and I'll know that ...