MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania – When judging the nation’s character, the media is drawn to his loud voice, his most extreme move, his deep resentment. The result is a loss of all subtlety and subtlety.
In the days and weeks following August 2, when our nation lost 1 service member in a horrific terrorist attack in Afghanistan, there was a profound incident across the country that very few people noticed in the national media: that simple but meaningful tribute to the American lives.
At this Daffin County Borough’s Tatard Flag Brewery just outside Harrisburg, they took out 13 beers at the bar and marked the place “reserved” with an American flag in the center.
Russell’s Fossil Bar and Grill in Kansas has done something similar.
“We wouldn’t have had freedom without the sacrifices of the brave,” said owner Nick Bueller. “There are many brave men and women in our community who have served our country. 1 beer respects that 1 hero, but it also respects our own city heroes.”
The table setting is spread not only through various bars and breweries across the country, but also in restaurants, diners, businesses and casinos, as well as in front yards, town squares and suburban towns, small towns and small towns everywhere.
When colleges and high schools across the country started their first game last week, hundreds of them found their own way to honor the fallen. Plan an event before the game this morning.
“They placed flags in 1 empty chair next to the field in memory of the recently killed army members in Afghanistan.”
In Gilbert, Arizona, Campo Verde High School varsity football team carries an American flag on the field in honor of a fallen soldier killed on 2 Aug.
Kathleen Diggs, counselor and community service co-ordinator at Campo Verde, said the flag was then hoisted near the field with 13 empty chairs.
“The effort was 100% student-led,” he said. “It was something they wanted us to do.”
What he sees among Gilbert’s students is remarkable.
“I see the desire to do the right thing in our youth,” he said. “It was an expression of sympathy from their own hearts. They wanted to do something that would show that they care for these soldiers and their families.”
Among the students and volunteers at Independence, Montana, Youth Court, there was a chair in front of the Old Jackson County Courthouse with the name of the military lost in Afghanistan.
A Starbucks in Virginia Beach, Virginia, placed a 1c cup of coffee on a table in honor of the fallen, with the caption, “This table is reserved for 1 soldier lost in Afghanistan on August 2, 2021.”
These are not singles-they are kept there for a day and then leave. Many of them are now left across the country.
Often, we let others define who we are – especially those who have the highest megaphones, or worse, those who have the most access to power. Worse, cultural curators who have the resources and power use it to portray an image of America that is essentially non-existent.
I would argue that these gestures of mourning are not gestures at all, but signs of the character of a nation. Each is not a photo-op, but a sign of constant empathy within us that is just below the surface একটি an expression of our exceptionalism that is waiting to emerge.
As human beings we are always looking for ways to come together, drowning out the loudest voices trying to divide us. We are not the NFL that now displays two national anthems; We are the people who have raised children who want to show their support to those who protect them by honoring them with empty seats or by raising the American flag without any disrespect.
The media has moved the conversation off the front page. But what has happened and continues to happen in Afghanistan has left a mark on the American mentality. It transcends political ideology, race and socioeconomic fronts – failing to see the biggest voices.
Many in the media mistakenly believe that people are now upset about Afghanistan because of politics or that they believed we should have. They think this is going to go away because they have stopped covering it. They believe that Americans are helpless to claim their rights from the image of Afghan women being beaten or that American citizens are trapped, helpless, which can only be described as hellish existence.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
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