It is a rare person who does not attach some sort of value or emotion to some physical object or to an event. A home becomes more than a building. A statue of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix, a flag or a song, or even a photograph can stir emotions greater than the value of the material item.
I have a piece of paper showing I served in the military until I was discharged honorably. But, oh, the memories that piece of paper conjures up. The friends, the fun times. The bad times. The times when we were bound closer to strangers than to our own families and, in frightening chaos, our lives hung by a thread.
Many of our friends died far from home. Ask us about the feeling of "American soil" upon returning to the land we loved. Ask those returning soldiers about America.
Remember the old, faintly humorous band of American Legionnaires, wearing out-dated military uniforms straining at the buttons. But, God how proudly they marched. Grinning, waving to friends and families, and always, always "The Flag!" Ask them if the flag is mere cloth, I dare you.
See the elderly lady sitting in a lawn chair watching the fourth of July parade. Three flags carefully folded some forty years ago into triangles now rest in her lap - one for each lost son. Ask her if those flags are mere cloth, I dare you.
Look at the old man quietly crying, leaning against the Iwo Jiima Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. As he turns to you, smiles with some embarrassment, and says in a choked whisper, "I was there." Ask him, "Is it just metal and clay?" Ask him. I dare you.
The Wall. My God, the Wall. See the young man lightly tracing the name of his father there inscribed. Ask him if its just rock. Ask him. I dare you.
Metal and wood were the means by which we won our freedom.
Metal and wood were the means by which we kept our freedom.
Metal and wood may be the means by which we regain our freedom.
Metal and wood are the final power of the people. Take away the metal and wood and the people become powerless - they can only beg, they supplicate for favors.
Read it all. And I wish I could remember where I found the link, so I could thank whoever pointed it out.