Where Were You?
I was still feeling the patriotic “high” of riding in the Sunland-Tujunga July 4th Parade then seeing the explosion of fireworks across the Southland in celebration of our nation’s independence as we approached the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I looked at photos of the control room at Mission Control Center in Houston taken on July 20, 1969 when astronaut Neil Armstrong made history with the words, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” It was in those photos, with ecstatic NASA members slapping each other on the back and celebrating the nation’s accomplishment, that the American flag, in all its glory, was proudly waved throughout the room.
The flag was an emblem of the success of the mission and a representation of America.
Fast-forward 50 years to the win by the dynamic United States Women’s Soccer team. Seeing these young athletes take to the field was extraordinary. The elated looks on the players’ faces when they won brought home their hard work and dedication to their sport. I was saddened, if not shocked, though when players Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long apparently dropped the flag to the turf before taking a photo with another teammate. I was grateful when teammate Kelly O’Hara quickly picked up the flag.
I know that Rapinoe can be polarizing with her strong political views – and I get that – but in my opinion it is wrong to disrespect the flag of the country that you’re representing on a global stage.
I know the action is not new; unfortunately it has been done before. Let’s face it – the flag has seen worse. But it still irks me.
Speaking of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, I hope you take a few minutes to read Mary O’Keefe’s retrospective on the landing. It was a historic moment for our country and her article invites people to reflect on where they were when it occurred.