Tattered Glory This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 17, 2009
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It was a typical evening drive with my father. Mild physical action broke out while we fought over the radio station until we finally agreed on some decent classic rock. The kaleidoscopic sunset tinted the sky over the Rockies. I don’t even remember where we were going, but it really doesn’t matter.
A ball of red, white, and blue flashed by on the ground to our right, and he jerked the wheel and stopped the car, right there on the freeway. He walked over and picked up the battered flag of broad stripes and bright stars laying there in a ball in the dirt. He acted as though someone had thrown him onto the soil instead. After shaking it off, he neatly folded it and returned back to the car, driving the whole way home with the flag on his lap.
When we got there, he retrieved some nails and a hammer and began hanging it up on the wall of our garage. I have no doubt that he would have hung it above his bed if my mom would have let him. As he pounded the nails, he appeared as if he was fulfilling his destiny of something like that. He didn’t look like he was going to cry like he did before, and he did not smile. He was just proud.
You can always tell when people wonder why we have such a ratty looking flag, rather that an nice, shiny new one. My dad loves to respond to the inquiries on their face. And to this day it hangs there, and I don’t expect it to be replaced any time soon. But it stands strong with tattered glory, just like my father.

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