Patriotism or Patriotism?

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, May 01, 2006

This weekend, I was reminded that last Tuesday was the 30th Anniversary of an event recently voted as one of the 100 Classic Moments In The History Of The Game by the National Baseball Hall Of Fame.
The moment? April 25, 1976 during the break between the top and bottom of the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium in LA. Rick Monday, the Chicago Cubs centerfielder was warming up when he noticed a change in the crowd. Monday looked over and saw two fans running onto the field between center and left.
Of course, today we are so bored with these infantile stunts. Back then, they happened far less frequently, but still did occur. Monday says he could tell something was different this time. “When these two guys ran onto the field, something wasn’t right. And it wasn’t right from the standpoint that one of them had something cradled under his arm. It turned out it was an American flag. They unfurled it like a picnic blanket. They then knelt beside it, not to pay homage, but to harm it as one of the guys was pulling out of his pocket a big can of lighter fluid. He began to douse it.”
"What they were doing was wrong then, in 1976. In my mind, it's wrong now, in 2006. It's the way I was raised. My thoughts were reinforced with my six years in the Marine Corp Reserves. It was also reinforced by a lot of friends who lost their lives protecting the rights and freedoms that flag represented." Monday continues...

"So I started to run after them. To this day, I couldn't tell you what was running through my mind except I was mad, I was angry and it was wrong for a lot of reasons.

"Then the wind blew the first match out. There was hardly ever any wind at Dodger Stadium. The second match was lit, just as I got there. I did think that if I could bowl them over, they can't do what they're trying to do.

"I saw them go and put the match down to the flag. It's soaked in lighter fluid at this time. Well, they can't light it if they don't have it. So I just scooped it up.

"My first thought was, 'Is this on fire?' Well, fortunately, it was not. I continue to run. One of the men threw the can of lighter fluid at me. We found out he was not a prospect. He did not have a good arm. Thank goodness.
"Tommy Lasor
da was in his last year as third-base coach before he took over for Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston. Tommy ran past me and called these guys every name in the longshoreman's encyclopedia."

The picture shown here was taken by James Roark and won him a Pulitzer Prize.
(AP Photo/Los Angeles Herald Examiner, James Roark) (James Roark - AP)

"A lot of people don't know this, but he beat me to the flag," recalls Lasorda. "I saw Rick start running over from center field to left. I didn't know what it was, but as soon as I saw him start, I took off and I ran out there, and of course, by that time, Rick had picked up the flag and continued running. When I got there, I see these two guys and I told them, 'Why don't one of you guys take a swing at me?' because there were 50-something thousand people in the ballpark and I only wanted them to swing at me, so I could defend myself and do a job on them."

Monday continued, "Doug Rau, a left-handed pitcher for the Dodgers at the time, came out of the dugout and I handed the flag to him. The two guys were led off the field through the Dodger bullpen.

"After the guys left, there was a buzz in the stands, people being aghast with what had taken place. Without being prompted, and I don't know where it started, but people began to sing 'God Bless America.' When I reflect back upon it now, I still get goose bumps."

Monday, to this day, still receives letters from people who were touched by that moment. Veterans, who fought to protect America, family members of those killed in action, even children who had not yet been born, but who had read of the incident.

The flag now hangs proudly in Monday’s home in Vero Beach. The final chapter of this saga is a book to be published soon. The book will contain the letters and thought of people. Anyone who would like to contribute to this book can send their thoughts -- in 500 words or less – or photos to

(photo courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers)

Now, today, illegal immigrants living in the US are staging protests across the country. They are not going to work, or buying goods or services or going to school today to show their value to the country. The day is being billed as “Un dia sin immafrante” – Spanish for “a day without an immigrant.”

The campaign is part of the growing desires to get legal status for the 11 million immigrants living and working in the USA.

My paternal grandfather and grandmother traveled from Italy to find residence in this country. They endured the hardships of a long journey on a crowded ship with nothing waiting for them but the promise of freedom and the opportunity to find a better life. How do I know this? Because I have been to Randall’s Island here in NYC and I have seen their names on the wall there which lists every immigrant that came to the US LEGALLY!

Now for years, these people have been earning money and not paying taxes, but taking advantage of the infrastructure and services the taxes we all pay support.

Clearly, immigration issues are testing the nation's consciousness. In an AP-Ipsospoll released in early April, 13 percent of respondents said immigration was the nation's top problem — four times the number who said that in January. Immigration ranked slightly below the economy and the war in Iraq in the survey of 500 adults, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Immigration has split Congress, the Republican Party and public opinion. Conservatives want the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants returned to Mexico and a fence built along the border.

Others, including President George W. Bush, want a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship. Most agree some reform is needed to stem the flow of poor to the world's biggest economy.

"We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here (illegally)," Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who has helped stage protests said. "That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1."

So, riddle me this kiddies…these people began their history in this country by doing something illegal, and now they want us to say…”Oh, that’s all right…you just stay and enjoy.” ????

Want to live in the US and reap the rewards that you obviously feel you can’t get in your country? Then apply for citizenship and do it like my relatives and the millions of others who abided by the laws of the land.

Continuing with the theme, a new version of “The Star Spangled Banner” has been released. Recorded by Pitbull, Wyclef Jean, Puerto Rican singers Carlos Ponce and Olga Tanon it is a Spanish version of the anthem to our country. Well, that is what they say it is, but you tell me…here are the lyrics:
An English translation of "Nuestro Himno," a Spanish-language version of the national anthem:
Verse 1
The day is breaking, do you see it? In the light of the dawn?
What we so acclaimed at nightfall?
Its stars, its stripes,
flew yesterday
In the fierce battle
in a sign of victory,
The glow of battle, in step with liberty
At night they said: "It's being defended!"
Oh say!
The voice of your starry beauty
is still unfolding
Over the land of the free
The sacred flag?

Verse 2
Its stars, its stripes,
Freedom, we are equal
We are brothers, in our anthem.
In the fierce combat in a sign of victory
The glow of battle, in step with liberty
My people keep fighting
It's time to break the chains
At night they said: "It's being defended!"
Oh say! Your starry beauty is still unfolding.

Hummmmm… here are the lyrics to “The Star Spangled banner”:
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I even put the entire song there, including those verses we never sing and…Yup…I thought so… no mention of “breaking chains” like in the new version…So, I guess these people decided that we needed a new anthem and they were the one’s to write it…Sorry, nope don’t agree. Our Secretary Of State, Condoleezza Rice has no problems with this new version. “I’ve heard the national anthem done in rap versions, country versions and classical versions,” Rice said on the CBS program “Face The Nation.” “From my point of view, people expressing themselves as wanting to be Americans is a good thing.”

Hey Condi….I agree with your overall thought…BUT THEY CHANGED THE WORDS TO THE SONG!!!!!!!!

Rap version... yup…heard them and I can not remember the words being changed to “yo yo...the stripes and stars be hangin’ when the yellow ball came up.”

Even when Jimi Hendrix woke up the Woodstock nation that morning with his electrified version of the anthem…through the feedback and squeal, you still KNEW it was the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Why is it that people who want to come to live in the US because of all we have here, get here and then want to change it all so it feels more like their birth home??? This is what I do not get.

OK...I am on a search…yesterday, while driving back from LI, where Allyson and I helped celebrate our niece and nephews 16th Birthday; I heard a story on the radio. There is a list of the 1500 (?) most despised people and Barry Bonds is on the list. It seems he is above only 14 people and those include Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and 12 others in that vein. I want to find this list for you all and will continue trying to find it. I missed most of the details until the Syringe of Swat’s name was mentioned. I will find it kiddies…I promise.

Has Barry Bonds retired yet? No? Too bad. AVG. .277 HR 3 RBI 10 SB 0

Keep that spark of insanity kids...It helps keep you an individual.

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4 Of Your Sparks

  1. robsg1rl Says:
  2. I had to wipe away tears by the middle of your blog. Great story about the American flag. I hear Lee Greenwood in the background...

    I am having a hard time understanding exactly what rights noncitizens of the US have....if any. I say show them the way to go home if they don't like it here. My great-grandparents came over from Portugal in the same manner your grandparents did.....legally.

    On pins and needles about AI tomorrow night. My hubby thinks me close to insanity for buying a GoPhone over the weekend. (Cingular Taylor texting) :)

  3. me again Says:
  4. PS.....Leave the anthem alone, doggonit!!! :)

  5. Angell Says:
  6. Well, I'm Canadian, and personally, I think that messing with the words of the national anthem in ANY country is a bad thing. (Although I would vote for an overhaul of OUR national anthem as I think it's boring as shit).

    I can sympathize with the immigration problems the US is having, cuz we're having similar problems up here. At least you guys aren't welcoming them with open arms like our idiotic gov't.

    So, we're having a party when Barry retires?

    You've gotta fill me in on that hate thing you've got for him one day.



  7. Amishav Says:
  8. Hey, I'm old enough to remember when the incindent with the flag happened. I had forgotten it until now. Aint that a great story? Thanks for helping me remember it.


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