Because I’m a Veteran…

While I was hoping to keep politics out of my blog and focus on being a vegetarian and my running, I saw something on my run yesterday that really irritated me, so I’m going to take some blogger’s liberty and tie it in.

Sign of treason against the United States

 

Around mile 3 of my run, I saw a truck drive in front of me flying a Confederate Flag.  I am the first to tell you, the First Amendment gives you every right to do that.  What really irritated me though, is that it was the 4th of July.  We are suppose to be celebrating America’s independence, not traitors who stood in direct opposition of America!

Many oppose the Confederate Flag because it is a sign of racism and violence, I’m not going to try an argue a moral point, you can never win a moral argument if the other side isn’t rational.  The Confederate Flag symbolizes whatever meaning you give it, just as wedding ring symbolizes whatever meaning you give it.

The Confederate Flag was flown by those in opposition to the United States and the Constitution our country was founded on!  That opposition is legally known as treason because the opposition took up arms against the Union.

As a Veteran I fought for the United States of America, the promise that all were created equal, that all have the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I wasn’t fighting for Maryland (my home state), or Georgia, or California or any individual state, I was fighting for all states, unified under the Constitution.  The Confederacy was part of our history, and we should remember that, but it has no place of honor during 4th of July celebrations.

I picked up my pace a bit that 3rd mile thinking about recent events in our nation and how ignorant people are when it comes to what the Confederate Flag actually stands for.  People can say it is southern heritage, they can say whatever they want, history and the facts show that flag to be a sign of treason.

Because I’m a Veteran, I don’t want to celebrate traitors.  I want to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America.  Not to be cliche, But we all know ‘Freedom isn’t Free’.  If the Confederacy had won, I don’t think we would have the same freedoms we have today, not all of us anyway.

To the politicians who are out on television and in the papers nationally and locally making statements about southern heritage and observing people’s rights; they are correct individuals can do whatever they want on their property, but on government owned property that flag should not be displayed or sold.  For those politicians who can’t strum up the capacity to understand this is a sign of treason, I say to them you don’t know your history and you probably don’t understand the Constitution.  I hope all Americans remember some of the statements politicians are making when it comes time to vote.  Exercise your right to vote, Veterans fought for you to be able to do that.

Veterans also fought for your First Amendment rights, so you can display that flag if you feel you need to.  As a Veteran I’d ask you to think about what that flag represents before you do it.

For what it is worth I also support flag burning, Veterans fought for you to be able to do that to.

Sorry to devote so much time to a political issue but since it affected me while I was out running I thought I would share my thoughts on the topic.

Let me know where you stand and why. 

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Air Force

4th of July

The other day I saw Picky Runner did a ‘day in the life of’ blog, so I thought I would follow suit on today.  As a veteran this holiday is especially important to me, it is a time to remember those who fought for our freedom and are still fighting for it.

0530:  Alarm goes off, snooze twice

0549:  Finally wake up and get in the shower and get ready for the day.

0616:  Make breakfast.

Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
0633:  Filled up the fountain as I left the house.

Daily Routine
Daily Routine
0641:  Walked by my friend’s house, who is setting up for his annual 4th of July Parade.

Phil's house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!
Phil’s house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!

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People place chairs out to make sure they get a spot for the 4th of July parade.

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Grand Stand and Dundalk Main Street
0654:  Arrived at Parade start line; since I am President of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, I get to walk and represent the organization.  We also have one of our volunteers who likes to dress as ‘Uncle Sam’ ride in a convertible.

Just a few people starting to get ready.
Just a few people starting to get ready.

Gov. Hogan's campaign bus is here.  I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago.  Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
Gov. Hogan’s campaign bus is here. I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago. Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
0708:  Lead runners pass parade start line.

Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
0710:  First Ladies pass in group of 3.

Tight race for the women!
Tight race for the women!
0714:  Marching Ravens arrive.

Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
0715:  My best friend and his wife, pass by on race course.

John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2!  She pointed out she was running and I was not! ;)
John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2! She pointed out she was running and I was not! 😉
0841:  After over an hour of waiting and wondering where the car for the Parade was at, it finally arrived and the parade started.

Our car and 'Uncle Sam'
Our car and ‘Uncle Sam’
0842:  Parade starter dropped her pen, so I picked it up for her.  When I handed it to her she said, “Oh, you probably shouldn’t have touched that I am really sick.”  Great hope I don’t get sick!

0847:  Someone in the crowd boos ‘Uncle Sam’ because Uncle Sam is the one who raises taxes…only in Dundalk.

0915:  I always see people I know along the route, one person I always look forward to seeing is my second grade teacher, Mrs. Shatz (pronouned Shots) and her husband.  I also saw my high school librarian, Mrs. Kimos and her husband in the same spot.  Oddly, they don’t know each other, other than from seeing each other at the parade each year.

0950:  The rain starts but we are close to the end, just a light rain, but I’m not looking forward to running in the rain again.  After walking the 3 mile parade route and started and stopping, I’m pretty tired.

1010:  The parade is over we pack up the decoration from the vehicle and I walk back to the DRC and then home.  During the parade I always make sure to shake every Veteran’s hand, at least those that are easily identifiable.

1025:  I arrive back home, it started raining pretty hard so I had put on my Lululemon Pack-it jacket, during the walk.

Glad to be home and out of the rain!
Glad to be home and out of the rain!
1040:  Make a sandwich and relax.

It doesn't sound good but it is delicious!
It doesn’t sound good but it is delicious!
1050:  Called my parents since forgot to call them back from earlier in the week.

1056:  Catch up on DVR’d shows.

1245:  Woke up from a nap, still don’t feel like running. My legs and feet are so tired after the last few days.

1319:  Started my run, today was 6 miles at ‘race pace’  I wanted to run a little faster but I ran an 8 min pace.  Around mile 3 I saw a truck that had a Confederate flag on it.  It really bothers me that people fly that flag, on a day like today.  Probably not for the reasons you think.  I’ll write more about that in another blog.

The Sweat Life
The Sweat Life
1417:  Shower

1432:  Walked to my friend’s party.  (see earlier pic)

1526: Left party to eat at the Heritage Fair before my shift at Stouten’s snowball stand starts.  I help them out every year.

1529:  Arrive at the Heritage Fair, Phil lives pretty close and it is a quick walk.

People getting ready for the concerts.
People getting ready for the concerts.
1538:  Ate two slices of really greasy pizza, thank goodness I ran.  There isn’t much for vegetarians to eat at the fair.  I did see a sign that said Veggies and got excited, but when I got closer I saw they were deep fried veggies, sort of defeats the purpose.  Then again greasy pizza can’t be that healthy either.

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Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
1600:  Start my 6 hour shift working at the snowball stand.  

Best snowballs around!
Best snowballs around!
2000:  You could hear what was suppose to be the big band called ‘Merica’. Only in America are we to lazy to pronounce America. 

2200:  Shift is over and my legs and feet are throbbing from being on them all day.

2213:  Arrive home!

2220:  Shower

2245:  Sleep!

How did you spend your 4th of July?  Happy Independence Day!!!

-Veggie Fueled Runner