Every year for Memorial Day and Veterans Day the streets of my town’s business area are lined with flags. At the bottom of each flag is a cross labeled with the name of a past or present resident who served in the military during wartime and their respective branch. My grandfather served in the Navy during World War II, and every year I try to find his flag when I go into town. Every year I fail because all the flags are so close together and you can do only so much reading while driving down the road. A couple of years I spotted names that looked similar but never spotted his name.
This year the flags represented a sense of normalcy for me. The damage from April’s tornado destroyed most of my town’s business district, and it’ll take months to rebuild at best. But seeing the flags there made me think not only of those who have served but of how people are continuing to live their lives, despite all the broken buildings. Even though rebuilding will be arduous, someone thought to continue a small but meaningful tradition of putting up those flags. Those flags could have been put on hold, but life can’t, no matter how hard we may try.