Patriotic Duty

"This is my patriotic duty for today" read the simple handmade sign on his chest.

He looked of an age to have served in 'Nam. Without the sign you would not have looked twice at him. May have even tried to avoid looking once at him. Even though he looked clean, he appeared to have been living on the streets for a while. He had an air of self-sufficiency that had been cultivated for a long time.

When the police vehicles began moving toward the peaceful group assembled in front of the King County Jail, he stepped to the front of the crowd to line up with the others who chose positions on the outer flank. Volunteering for the front line. Again.

"This is my patriotic duty for today" his sign stated.

And he performed his duty with shoulders back, head high, and a fierce glow of pride on his face. Perhaps society had thrown him away, but he was still willing to put his body on the line to protect the Constitution of this fair country. To guarantee other peaceful citizens the right to express their views, regardless of violent, repressive moves by the police, he would once again fight the good fight by not fighting at all. His presence was enough.

"This is my patriotic duty for today"

Your duty was well done, friend. Thank you.

© 1999 Reneene Robertson

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