Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Iraq war is over. We won. Fly the Blue Star flag

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 12/24/10

From the new Jane Fonda workout video to Wikileaks there has been for those who lived through the Sixties and Seventies that sensation Yogi called “deja vu all over again.” But there is a fundamental difference between the war in Iraq and Vietnam. This war we won.

Maybe we’re not used to it. But however one feels about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it cannot be denied. Our soldiers will win.

And America feels it, even if MSM trails in the nihilist nostalgia of the Seventies. We have today a different attitude to our soldiers and vets. Everyone in our town is proud of our men and women in uniform. It wasn’t like that in 1968 for those of us who arrived home from Tan Son Nhut to a country, in Henry Kissinger’s words, on the verge of civil war. The ambiguity of the war in Vietnam and the scorn many experienced on return left a scar on a generation of soldiers. But that was almost 50 years ago. Time to move on.

Driving around our snowy neighborhood this past week I’ve been seeing something new. High schools, homes and houses of friends have been flying a new flag under Old Glory; a white flag with red trim and a blue star in the middle: The Blue Star Flag.

Cyber Sarge, who runs a Vietnam veterans web site, explains that the once-prominent Blue Star Flag that hung in windows in wartime is making a comeback. The flag made a brief appearance during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, but because of the conflicts short duration, never really caught on. The tradition originated with WWI. In 1917, the Congressional Record stated: "The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother---their children." Also known as a Service Flag, the blue stands for hope and pride.

Let it speak now for our soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be nice to see more of these; to see them here, there and everywhere because those who serve and sacrifice should understand that we at home speak with one heart in our admiration and respect.

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