June 14th, Flag Day
Wherever we lived when I was a child, we had a flag. At one house, where we had a flagpole in our front yard, one of us kids had the job of raising the flag each morning. Some days it was a chore for me because I didn’t give myself enough time to raise it as slowly or respectfully as I should’ve. But as a military brat, it truly was an honor to fly the flag. Years later, when I was off on my own, I learned about Flag Day, a day when Americans can take a moment to honor Old Glory and what it stands for. A proud American, I’ve always looked forward to June 14th.
I always remember one of my students on this day, too. It’s her birthday today.
Now in her late-twenties, I think back to that class she was in, which was one of my first (and favorite!) classes, and wonder where she and some of her classmates are. Through the grapevine, I’ve heard that she may be married. What a treat to know that “my kids” have matured and blossomed into adulthood! I’ve kept in touch with a handful of other kids that I’ve taught and am always so touched that they keep in contact with me. Several of them are parents now, and surely, other of my former students will follow in that role in the years to come. Like that flag of ours, I’ve always been proud of the kids I’ve been blessed to watch grow up.
I’ve begun to worry about them, though, Diary.
The older I get, and the more freedoms I see being taken away, I can’t imagine what sort of world their kids are going to grow up in. Already across several states, young parents will not be allowed to parent as I have. One single woman who I’d taught many years ago reached out to me when she’d read that the CDC’s MMR vaccine study was not accurate and was published with manipulated information. Not yet a parent, I could understand why she was distraught. She’s a young black woman. Always so upbeat and kind, I didn’t want to scare her, but I had to make sure she knew the truth. I confirmed that what she’d read, that the CDC lied to the public and misrepresented their autism findings in young black boys, was the truth. Would this information change anything for her and for her or her future children?
I’m sure it would.
Another young African-American single woman I know recently told me, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever want kids anymore. There are too many things to worry about these days – school shootings, modified food that’s not even food, and the vaccine stuff? Why are they forcing them on people so much these days! I used to want a family, but I can’t even think about bringing a child into this world right now.’ I was crushed. Both of these gals are strong, independent, amazingly beautiful women. They are natural care givers and have big hearts. They’d make great parents! But the trend I’m hearing from them, and one I’m actually seeing in other young people I know, is that they are not willing to sacrifice their children to society.
They can’t even entertain the thought of having kids any more.
I thought about that as I left an appointment earlier today. A young man and I spoke at length about how today is so different from when we were kids. Granted, he was about 20 years younger and lived a different childhood than I did, but he could appreciate how quickly “times have changed”. Already a parent himself, he shared that he has to be more vigilant as a young parent (than I ever had to) and that he has to work around more negative societal input (than I ever thought possible). ‘Who needs that? Why can’t we all just get along? Do what’s right for you, and stay out of each other’s business…’ He had a lot of wisdom, but he also carried a heavy burden thinking about his kids’ growing up years. His kids are so young, too—he has just a two-year old and a baby! He should be enjoying these next few years with them, not have to worry about what he can and can’t do as their dad.
I want to escape to another time, another place, where life was simpler and when parental rights were respected.
Driving home, I saw some American flags as I went through town, but I didn’t have that joyful feeling today that I used to feel seeing the stars and stripes every on June 14th for the last 2+ decades. Instead, I thought of those 2 young women and that young man I just met. All 3 have ties to New York. Oh, Diary, New York surprised me this week. I’ve only ever witnessed genuine diversity and extreme individuality being celebrated there. In all my years, never have I ever seen it conform. But that’s exactly what it did.
Our country fought hard for freedom, but elected officials are bending over backwards greedily taking away those existing freedoms.
New York State passed a law that will revoke religious freedom. That law, in turn, will revoke parents’ rights and will deny children access to their education. I had questions once I heard that news, but they were all rhetorical: Are they serious? Have they no shame? Who’s driving this grotesquely pro-vaccine and undeniably anti-parent push? Of course, I could take a stab at answering those questions: They know what they are doing, they are boldly doing it right under our noses, and they have more than enough financial backing to keep going after other parents in other states.
What a sad day for those who’ve fought so bravely and who’ve lost so deeply.
Those 2 women who’ve questioned what is going on in the world today and that young dad who was uncertain about his kids’ future all understand that freedom comes with a price. It always has. But it should never come at the price of its own people.
Land of the free!
Home of the brave!
Long may she wave!
When the flag is flown upside down, it signifies instances of extreme danger to life or property. Pharmaceutical companies and officials working alongside them may not be willing to share this, but, Diary, you and I know that all vaccines come with risk. We, and those pharma companies and our government, also know that vaccinations are considered unavoidably unsafe. The potential for liability-free pharmaceutical products to cause extreme danger to life is real. Officials don’t care to state that publicly and won’t stand behind those proven statements. Instead, they’re using everything in their power to fuel an intense vaccine mandate push as just happened in New York.
I look around and see that I’m still right here in America, but I’m living in a place that now has more restrictions than ever before.
I’ll always be proud that I was born in the USA, but I am ashamed at how this country and many of its representatives are behaving lately. It’s so completely un-American of them. The worst part is that they know it. People may be upset to see that American flag upside down here, especially at the end of National Flag Week, but flying it that way sends as clear a message as when it’s flown upright. If more states in our nation work as hard as New York did to take religious freedom away in order to mandate risky, unavoidably unsafe, liability-free vaccines as quickly as they did, we are in for some extremely dangerous times ahead. Mark my words, Diary, it’s going to get even worse before it can ever get better again.
Until next time…xo, Cat
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.