To many Americans, our flag remains sacred, including for two men who live more than 1,000 miles apart but share the same devotion.
Disabled Army veteran Chris Ellenburg of Temple, Texas, showed what the flag meant to him on Monday when he saw an American flag being run over by cars.
“I honestly could not believe it,” Ellenburg said. “I figured it was normal trash, but as soon as I saw the flag open up as it flipped over into my lane, I knew.”
As drivers continued to drive over the red, white and blue, Ellenburg pulled over to the side of the road, KXXV reported. He then went out onto the highway to rescue the flag.
“You’re dang right I stopped traffic,” Ellenburg said. “And there were still disrespectful people driving by as I had this flag, picking it up off the ground in the middle of a freaking road.”
Even though drivers honked at him, he continued on.
“It wasn’t for myself, it was really for my buddies that died that I felt more disrespected for it,” Ellenburg said.
“It may not have been to war, it may not have been in combat, it may not have flown over a military base,” Ellenburg said. “It may have just flown over somebody’s backyard, but it’s going to be honored for what it stands for.” https://t.co/NtTLZPY4lR
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Once he managed to pick up the flag, it was tattered and torn.
“It’s got tire marks on it,” Ellenburg said. “A lot of dirt, grime, oil.”
But to Ellenburg, a torn and worn flag is still valuable.
“It may not have been to war, it may not have been in combat, it may not have flown over a military base,” said Ellenburg, who plans to properly retire the flag by burning it. “It may have just flown over somebody’s backyard, but it’s going to be honored for what it stands for.”
That’s a message Joey Garca in far-off New Paltz, New York, understands. Garcia is organizing an American flag appreciation walk Sunday. The walk will begin at the site where an American flag mural will be painted. Garcia said that local opposition to the mural made him organize the walk, according to Hudson Valley One.
“To me it represents many things — freedom, compassion, strength and pride to name a few. I support our military, our law enforcement and fire fighters as well. In my opinion, we live in the greatest country on earth,” he said.
“But lately, our flag has been under attack. It seems like many people today speak out against our flag and country, and want to only point out what they feel is wrong with it. But I feel like those of us who do not feel that way have a voice too and deserve to be heard. So I’m hoping to have all of us who respect our flag and country to come take a walk with me,” he said.
Garcia said the walk is about the flag, not politics.
“This is a positive peaceful event meant to unify, to bring people from all walks of life together and to find common ground,” he said.
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