Gig Line: It’s hard to fathom

Published 9:25 am Friday, May 3, 2024

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It is hard to believe what we see in real time anymore with all these protests, U.S. flag burnings, spitting in the face of law enforcement and threats of violence against our young people who simply by faith are targeted on some college campuses today. What in the world has happened to us?

I remember back in the day when I saw a picture of our American flag burned in protest and how shocking it was, to me anyway. To think that anyone would openly express their hatred for our country, to douse it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire seemed nothing short of nefarious. Sadly, nowadays it is no longer looked upon in disbelief but as an act of “expression” or to make a political statement … aren’t there sufficient words in the English language to adequately convey one’s discontent without burning our flag?

Recently when researching the topic, I read there is one, three and even five-year imprisonment as punishment for the desecration of countries’ flags burning … but not here. If I understood correctly, it is considered “protected free speech” … how disappointing that that even came to be years ago.

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Our flag is a symbol of freedom – imagine that for a minute. “The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies, and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.” as respectfully described in searches for our flag meaning and history. Furthermore, it is described as representing “the freedom, dignity, and true meaning of being an American. It has been with us through our war times, our sad times, but also in times of our greatest joys and triumphs.”

While countries adopted symbols that represent them, our patriotic symbols in addition to “the U.S. flag, the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore and the Pledge of Allegiance.” The search I was doing also offered more endearing facts one of which stated that, “The American Flag is ranked number one in the world.” Just think of that and how in contrast it is treated as if it were a dirty rag.

I think it should not matter if we are young or old, but all of us who have been born into this great nation should have respect and pride in it being a defender of the oppressed; for its assistance to countries that suffered natural disasters, and its goal to maintain its faith, honor and decency. If people do not appreciate what we have always stood for, why don’t they leave and find greener grass somewhere else? Why do we tolerate protests that truly are not peaceful, stop traffic, create exorbitant expense to deter violence? And are over-the-top screaming at passersby?

How do any of us justify and celebrate the attempted demise of Israel on October 7, 2023? How does anyone who lives, works, seeks higher education wish it in America? How? Why? How does anyone live here and wish to see such harm in our peaceful cities and towns? Who could just hear testimonies about the torture they went through let alone see videos of the attack that killed innocent families … one by one, women, children and infants tormented and killed like that? In a place where dreams have been realized, goals have been met or exceeded, friendships have been established? Where wishes of harm are blatantly boasted?

Last night I watched a regularly scheduled show about how airports catch smugglers of contraband, especially illegal drugs. It was obviously important that the law enforcement group work diligently to keep travelers safe and go to the extremes they do. They carefully scrutinize passengers’ appearance, body language, their number of luggage bags, apparel they are wearing from top to bottom (shoes) and oftentimes they rip the heck out of a suitcase or the shoes on their feet to determine if anyone boarding a plane is carrying an explosive device, a liquid explosive or smuggling drugs … they HAVE to! I thought to myself, this is weird … those who watch every move an airline passenger makes, even requiring them to be x-rayed to determine if they have swallowed capsules of illegal drugs to transport, and how ironic it is that we have thousands and thousands of immigrants crossing our borders into the U.S. with backpacks and seemingly limited scrutiny. It’s strange to say the least. I mean for goodness’ sake; the Border Patrol agents can only do so much with so many crossings, but still … I don’t fly and I rarely travel, but I am thankful for the work airport and border personnel do to protect us. God bless all of them.

Veterans and your families, you might want to make a note of the upcoming schedules:

Out of the Shadows Suicide Awareness Walk – Saturday, May 4, 2024, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at First Flight High School track, Kill Devil Hills. Also, vendor booths will be located on Veteran’s Drive, including our Veterans Advisory Council booth where veterans can obtain their free Dare County Veteran Discount Card and meet Patty O’Sullivan, veteran service officer and other council members. For more information, go to There are documents we request in order to process you getting your card. PLEASE READ NOTE * below.

Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 – Monday, May 6, 2024, at 7 p.m. Colington Fire Station

Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 – Auxiliary Meeting, Monday, May 13, 2024, 6 p.m. Colington Fire Station

Blue Star Mothers – Thursday, May 16, 2024 – 5:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church, Nags Head

Dare County Veterans Advisory Council – Tuesday, May 28, 2024 – 6 p.m. at the Dare County Administrative Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr. (first meeting room to the left) Manteo

Dare Day(s) – Saturday, June 1, 2024, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. downtown Manteo, then the next day on Sunday, June 2, 2024, 2-4 p.m., a gospel concert and old-fashioned lemonade at Cartwright Park, Sir Walter Raleigh Street, Manteo

*VETERANS PLEASE NOTE: if you are a veteran and either a resident of Dare County or a property owner of improved or vacant land in Dare County, you are eligible to receive the free Veteran Discount Card at any of our Veterans Advisory Council booth activities throughout the year, however, you are asked to bring your DD-214, your driver’s license (it does not have to be a North Carolina license) and either a Dare County property tax bill or a residential lease agreement with your name on it. No documents will be kept or copied; we only ask to see them for verification.

If you are a veteran and would like to discuss your health care, benefits or a potential disability claim, please contact Patty O’Sullivan, veteran service officer, office: (252) 475-5604; cell: (252) 473-7749 or email: patricia.o’

I write Gig Line as a tribute to my husband, William S. “Billy” Brown, Jr., a proud U.S. Army Vietnam veteran who passed into Heaven in 2016 because of exposure to Agent Orange, and for all his “brothers” and “sisters” who have served our great nation. If you have any comments you wish to share with me, you are welcome to contact me through my cell phone/text: (252) 202-2058 or by emailing me:

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Please take the time to show your respect and gratitude to all our service members at every opportunity and pray for all who are deployed and on standby. God bless our veterans, law enforcement, firemen/women, paramedics and first responders … we love and need them all. Remember that our good Lord loves you all and so do I! Stay tuned!