I love flags. They tell stories, and they draw stories out of people, they call people to your boat with similar interests or people who might be interested in where you’re from.
The first sailing trip I ever went on was with Doc Pearson, who grew up during WWII during the blitz not far from London. He is an American citizen now, but flew the merchant ensign with the red field.
During WWII, it was the merchant ships that kept him fed. They were so careful with food, not only for their own sake, but because the risk it took to get that food to them had been impressed on everyone in the UK with posters like the one above. Imagine if every meal, every resource, was eaten with reverence to people on the front. Imagine the very real threat of a U boat taking out a ship filled with cargo that was the lifeblood of the civilian population. It was said that even though you were at home, you could fight the war just by saving scraps of metal, eating with care, and consuming less.
Doc Pearson flew the merchant flag on his boat about 65 years later- STILL THANKFUL. He’s also still affected by war. He knows what it looks like. Knows we shouldn’t be going to war because of an intimate knowledge of exactly what that means.
I want to honor veterans by demanding peace and an end to the culture of war. Somehow, with American troops all over the world and with us being at war, almost constantly, since 1939 we don’t feel the pain of war even with billions of dollars spent abroad. We felt the belt tighten at the beginning, but we see very little evidence in our daily lives of the real suffering we’re causing from our actions.
To honor veterans: I’d like the VA to wisen up (you can volunteer), I’d like the military to stop dishonorably discharging people with mental problems, but most of all I want to STOP THE WARS and spend the money on healing.