Ugly people, ugly freedom

I was walking along the streets in Jerusalem spending the day with a friend, enjoying my time in the beautiful city.  I was also having an epiphany of American pride that I previously jotted about.  Breathing deeply, we rounded the cobble stone corner and cut through a side street which was similar to an American Alley only more artistic.  It was darker than the main street but still well-lit given that it was mid-day and the sun was shining.  We were alone surrounded by the gorgeous architecture.  It was then that I pulled my eyes away from the buildings and noticed the three young teens in front of us speaking what sounded to be Russian.  They wore punk, gothic clothing and had dyed black hair, piercings and tattoos.  A portion of their heads were shaven and spiked up.  I smiled at the thought of the universal punk/rebel style reaching the corners of the globe.  Then I noticed that they were suspiciously huddled together stomping something on the ground with their feet.  When they saw us approaching the one young male, who was doing the majority of the stomping, bent over and picked something off of the ground.  I gasped when I saw that what he was stomping on was the American Flag! 

They stood facing us wearing harsh glares waiting for a reaction.  Were we Americans?  Would we react to the blatant disrespect?  I held their gaze and kept walking toward them. I so much wanted to cuss them out for stomping on my flag especially when I was having this new-found love for my country!  But I also knew that things could get ugly and I promised Donnie that I would not act irrational.  So I quicken my step in a confronting “charge” like fashion and we closed in on them.  Nervously, they turned around and began to walk the same direction we were walking so that their backs were facing us.  It was then that I noticed an entire slew of American flags on sticks rolled up and sticking out of the girl’s jean pocket.  What had they planned to do with these flags? More stomping or something worse? They continued to look over their shoulders to see if we were still behind them.

We followed them until we both reached the main street filled with people and they quickly darted off into the crowd and disappeared.  Normally this act would not have bothered me so much but like I said, I’m having an epiphany and they were trampin’ on our flag!!  In some countries one can face death for such acts but with freedom for all one can expect ugly people [inner ugliness] to produce ugly freedom. It is not uncommon to see the American flag burned and destroyed in our own country and across the globe.  It is outrageous.  Sad.  Pathetic.  Hateful….Totally human.

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