Why are the flags half mast today?

I drove by a flag flying at half mast, and I cannot remember why.

Was it the shooting in Texas? A mall? Was it a school, or a different state? Was it 5, or 6, or 7, or 8 this time?

I don’t remember if there has been a break between it flying half mast lately. I cannot think.

I wonder why our flag posts are so tall. Will we ever raise the flags high again.

They flew at half mast after it was my community plastered over the news. On order of the Governor, every one who proudly flew a flag stepped out the next morning and lowered their flag. Did they know, I wondered, that it was my friend the flag was mourning? The boy I road the bus with? I had last ran into him outside of his school’s library. We exchanged a few “How you’ve beens” and “good to see yous” that fall before he died on that same campus, months later.

The flags flew half mast. I don’t remember when it was raised again.

It occurs to me I don’t know how long they’ve been flying at half mast. If its not one tragedy, it is another. I do not know why we bother anymore. Let’s just leave them at down low. Let’s admit our shame – that we cannot raise our heads long enough from our thoughts and prayers to be proud of who we are as a nation.

Maybe our flag poles are too tall. Maybe our hopes are too high.

I think about the principal, the maintenance worker, the teacher who steps out on those solemn mornings to lower the flags.

Do they ever wonder how many times more they will have to do this?

Do they ever wonder if the flag will fly for them?


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