The American Flag means something different to everyone; to some people it means peace and comfort, and to others it’s refuge from hardships. I am a person who was raised around veterans, officers, and military retirees. I know that their views are probably stronger than other people’s because they have defended, respected, believed in, and risked their lives, and some have even died for it. My cousin was just in Iraq for, about ten months, and I was so worried about his safety, and what it would do to my family if he came back in a casket, that I would literally cry myself to sleep every night and have night mares so horrible that I woke up with an ear splitting scream that I could barely stop when I had my face buried in my pillow trying not to wake my parents up. The worst night was one time when I spent the night at my best friend Gabriela’s house when I dreamed that my cousin was being held prisoner, and the Iraqi soldiers were beating him, I screamed as loud as I could and begged them to stop, but they didn’t listen to me, They just would not listen to me, I tried to tell josh that I loved him but he couldn’t hear me. I couldn’t wake up, no matter how hard I tried, the soldiers turned around, looked right at me, laughed in my face and shot him, just to hurt me, I couldn’t say anything, I could only scream, it took too long for me to realize that I was actually screaming. I opened my eyes to see her entire family kneeling around me with nothing but confusion in their eyes, I was shaking uncontrollably, and nobody knew what to do or say so Gabby just wrapped me in a hug, and still no one said any thing they all simply gave me reassuring looks and went back to bed, except myself and Gabby, we went to the living room and just talked about everything but what happened until we had to get up and cook breakfast, and she told me that I was talking, well yelling actually, in my sleep, I said something like, “Don’t take him, stop beating him, take me instead.” Then I just screamed. That changed my opinion, in a way so immense that there are no words to describe it, so when you ask the question ‘what does the American Flag mean to you’ I simply can’t answer it.