A few weeks ago, a well-known fast-food restaurant located in Crafton went out of business. The closure of any business entity in our tough economy is detrimental to the former employees, their families and the local neighborhoods due to the loss of wages, tax revenue and reduction of the services of supporting vendors. The expensive food-processing equipment has been removed, leaving an empty building with only a few chairs and tables as a physical reminder of the past.
Unfortunately, the former tenants left behind the most valuable item of all — the flag of the United States of America. This particular flag hangs precariously by a cord piercing one eyelet as it is blown about in the frigid winter wind on top of a non-illuminated pole in front of the vacant building, as a flock of pigeons appear to be paying homage in silence as they rest on the electrical lines near the site.
The image of this powerful emblem of liberty and justice being engulfed by the darkness of the night haunts me.
In honor of former and current military personnel like my deceased father, once a proud member of the 82nd Airborne, and my father-in-law, a Purple Heart recipient, I hope this flag will be removed, properly cleaned and flown in a place of honor and respect. It deserves nothing less.