Only In America


Here are Jeffrey Fox’s thoughts about our nation’s birthday.

Only in America does every town have a flagpole hosting the flag.

Only in America are too many of the flags too often at half-mast.

Only in America does every town organize holiday parades with flags flying, Scouts marching, Vets waving, along Main Streets bordered and guarded by flag after flag.

Only in America do millions of private homes have family flagpoles whipping and clanging and flapping throughout the year. Only in America do millions of private homes have flags over front doors, affixed to garages, to porches and pillars and posts.

Only in America are there fully flagged poles at office buildings, industrial parks, condo complexes, car washes, athletic fields, university campuses.

Only in America do men wear the flag pinned to suits and jackets.

Only in America do millions of citizens sing an American anthem, not once, but twice, every time major leaguers play America’s game.

Only in America is a national anthem played before car races, football games, tennis matches, tournaments, while every educated fan, and every playing citizen, stand with hats off and hands across hearts.

Only in America do huge flags fly from the top of rising skyscrapers.

There are hundreds of thousands of construction cranes working around the world, but only in America do the cranes hoist the country’s flag.

Only in America, on Sunday mornings, when volunteer fire fighters are polishing their trucks, do you see massive flags capturing the breeze atop the hook and ladders.

Only in America do millions of kids, in countless classrooms, in every normal community, start their school day pledging allegiance to their flag.

Only in America is the flag the subject of an American anthem.

Only in America does the flag have nicknames: Stars and Stripes, Red, White and Blue, Old Glory, The Colors. (Nicknames are so American.)

Only in America can one exhilarate to the roar of Harleys as these American road beasts tour hither and yon, streaming a blur of stars and striped shoulder patches, trailing shimmering ribbons of red, white and blue.

Only in America are flags so plentiful that losers can burn them. Only in America do such ingrates have the flag-protected freedom to so desecrate.

Only in America is the flag indelibly inked on buttocks and biceps.

Only in America is the flag emblazoned on millions of truck and car windows; on every hard hat; on Little League caps; on Girl Scout sashes; on license plates.

Only in America do thousands of country western radio stations play a national anthem every day at noon.

Only in America, in every cemetery, on every day, do planted little flags outnumber flowerpots. (Never forget the hallowed grounds in Normandy where wonderful French people lovingly care for the first WW2 memorial protecting our fallen and our flag. Merci beaucoup.)

Only in America can you see the USA in a Chevrolet.

Only in America, as you drive your Chevy to the levee, or following the route in Woody Guthrie’s American anthem, from California to the New York Island, or on another anthem’s road from sea to shining sea, in the home of the brave, can you approach star-spangle-bannered bridge after bridge, all welcoming home their brave. (Our glorious and free friends up north so too welcome home their brave).

Only in America, at the top of our New York Island’s new World Trade Center, will there fly such a metaphorically awesome grand old American Flag, that it will be in-your-face visible to every city and cranny and cave on Earth.

* * *

In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim Cratchett says, “May God bless us all, every one.”

This July, let’s all say, “May God bless America.”

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