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Time for us to raise our heads and our flags

On April 10, 2020, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the U.S. flag to half-staff “until further notice” due to the deaths related to COVID-19. As a U.S. Navy combat veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm and currently a full-time lieutenant with a fire department, I have great concern and heartache with this action due to the duration.

Growing up a child if the flag was to be at half-staff it was for something “BIG” and it was only for a short period of time, the longest being 30 days for the death of our president. As the years go by the flag seems to be at half-staff more than at full-staff and for a whole host of reasons. Dealing with this virus has been referred to as “being at war” by most and presidential war time action has been taken to help combat this virus. During these difficult times too many lives have been lost and many more have been affected, but I feel it’s time for us to be reminded of the progress we have made and continue moving forward.

Recently I was looking at my own flag pole in the front yard and thinking of the flag rising on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima towards the end of the War in the Pacific. When they raised the flag it was at full-staff. It’s time for us to do the same. It’s time for us to hold our heads high. It’s time for us to remember what we can and have overcome. It’s time for us to be a proud nation.

The sight of “Old Glory” waving softly in the wind, at full-staff, is a reminder of just that.

TOM TOLEN,

Alpena

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