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August 5, 2009 - John Stack
Some things really peeve me. My buddy just had his flag stolen for the 3rd time in less than two years! In two of the three thefts, they’ve actually taken the brackets along with the flag! What is the point of stealing a flag? Flying a flag is not a political statement. (Burning a flag, a constitutionally protected expression of free speech IS a political statement). But to fly your flag is to show your love of country. I fly my flag openly and freely. It doesn’t mean I support George Bush’s policies. It does not mean I support president Obama’s policies. My left of center friends as well as my right of center friends fly their flags. We fly them as we believe we live in the greatest nation on earth. We believe in the liberties we have, including the right to free speech, and a republican form of government. Why steal a flag? What do you do with a stolen flag? The people who would steal a flag (repeatedly?) have no honor. They wouldn’t fly the flag. This irks me just like the vandals who knocked over the tombstones in the Jewish cemetery recently. Once again, liberal or conservative, Jewish or Christian, Agnostic or Atheist, this irritates everyone. Luckily, up here, cool heads prevailed. There was no finger pointing or condemnations. All the local clergy decried this senseless act, and stood together with their Jewish brethren to rededicate the cemetery just a few weeks ago. These individuals, or groups are just rotten, despicable people.
Then there is the curious case of Mallory Holtman. Mallory Holtman is the career leader for home runs, doubles, RBIs, hits and runs in softball for Central Washington. In a game last year that would decide if she would make it into the playoffs for the first time in her career, she did an amazing thing. In a 0-0 game, there were 2 girls on base for the opposing team. Sara Tucholsky, a reserve who had never hit a home run in her life, clocks her first home run ever. The first 2 girls score. But, Sara misses 1st on the way to second. As she turns back towards first, and tears her ACL. In terrific pain, she crawls back to first. If she is helped by her own team, she will be called out. The umpires figure, if she can’t run, she will be only credited with a 2 run single. Then Holtman does something incredible. She, without asking her coaches or teammates, asks the umpire if she can help her out. The best player the team ha sever had, is asking if SHE can help the opponent around the bases, and to put herself one further run away from her first ever playoffs! The ump figures its OK. Mallory calls to Liz Wallace to help her. The shortstop drops her glove and helps Mallory carry Sara around the bases, touching each one. We’re lucky to have the Mallory Holtmans of the world. There are probably a bunch of them right here in Saranac Lake, who just haven’t had this type of opportunity. Obviously, the flag stealers and the gravestone vandals cannot even fathom an act like Mallory Holtman’s.
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