Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Like many military traditions, the salute carries a rich history. Though nobody can pinpoint the precise origins of the hand salute it's a convention that extends across cultures, armies and centuries. In military life a salute is common courtesy, the acknowledgment of a superior, a simple expression of attention paid and respect given. At it's heart a salute is one of the hallmarks of the warrior spirit. I'm often sadden by the lack of example of fathers' to teach their sons the occasions for which a salute is appropriate, such as when standing at attention with their hand over their heart for the national anthem, the american flag and a funeral procession of a fallen soldier. When fathers fail to show respect for their country, the flag and national anthem, regardless if it is at a rodeo, baseball game or parade, they are setting an example to their sons that is disheartening. Men if you don't have the iron to teach your sons to stand for something you set them up to fall for anything. On a similar note talking about common courtesy, I wish that restaurants would post a sign at entrances that tells all patrons that it is customary to remove your hats when eating at the table and to not do so is an egregious social error and makes them look like clods. Perhaps that is too much to wish for in this day and age this is just one more example of fathers' not setting examples for their children. In another age, any male would have been mortified if someone had to remind them that a gentleman takes his hat off indoors. I know I've been hard on the dads; however, moms are just as much at fault for not expecting civilized behavior out of our sons. We take the time to teach our daughters to be modest; why don't we take the time to teach our sons to be courteous?

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