Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Real American Hero

I got this in an email today and I wanted to share it. I hope it does not offend anyone but it is things I did not know anything about until now. Yes I knew John was a POW but knew nothing about the circumstances they actually lived under.
     In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California , with respect to
the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John
McCain is very appropriate:
"The Pledge of Allegiance" - by Senator John McCain
     As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war
during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us
in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us
from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to
40 men to a room.
     This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result
of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs
10,000 miles from home.
     One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike
Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma , Alabama . He didn't wear a pair
of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School . Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.
Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our
military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.
    As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners
to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs,
scarves and other items of clothing.
     Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he
created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
     I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.
     One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in.
     We cleaned him up as well as we could. The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could.
     After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting
there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag.
      He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.
So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I honestly hope no one was offended by this post but it touched me so much I felt the urge to share it. As you read it word for word you realize John did not say one word about how he was tortured.


kornkountrytreasures said...

Thank you, CC for posting this. We get so tied up in our daily lives, the dog needs out, dinner burned, it snowed last night, the paper was late, the coffee spilled . . . . . . . that we do take things for granted. I am so glad that you reminded us!

Doesn't matter if you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, it still says the same thing. Thank you!

Supergranny said...

Yes, I've read this before but like korny said we get distracted in our everyday affairs and a re-read is good for us. Thanks!!!

chateycathey said...

Thank you Ladies, I had a hard time deciding if I should post this or not but it touched me so much I just did it. Now off looking for something to post for today.......hoooo hummmm. Taxes my brain LOL