These are the precincts of pain. A goddess lives here. Her name is Victory.
I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings. I stand watch in America’s halls of justice. I fly majestically over great institutes of learning. I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world. Look up! And see me!
I stand for peace, honor, truth, and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident … I am arrogant. I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one. I am recognized all over the world. I am worshipped. I am saluted. I am respected. I am revered. I am loved. And I am feared.
I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years… Gettysburg, Shilo, Appomatox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy, the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines, the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.
I was there!
I led my soldiers. I followed them. I watched over them… They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima. I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me, and I was proud.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt … for I am invincible. I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country, and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle … it hurts. But I shall overcome … for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stand watch over the uncharted new frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours. But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle. when I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers… and when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son.
I am proud. My name is Old Glory. Dear God … Long may I wave!"
- SMsgt. Don S. Miller, USAF (ret.), My Name is Old Glory