It’s an understatement to say there has been some unnecessary rioting going on around several college campuses lately. I’ll just leave it like this: My momma said if I didn’t have anything nice to say, hush!

But something happened during those riots that gave me a slight bit of hope that the next generation is starting to show up and fight back, not in a physical way, but in a way that honors our country and the freedom for which it stands. That event is captured in the image above where young men rallied around to hold up the American flag.

This may seem like just a picture, but it reminded me of so much more – including an even more recognizable picture, the picture of the young men raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.

Can you imagine how the soldiers who raised that flag at Iwo Jima in February 1945 felt then? Can you imagine what they would think of our country now?

Our education system has largely forgotten to remind our students how important the flag is and what each color of our flag represents. Did you know that white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice? Our country has already shown in so many ways that we have forgotten these values, as well as what it took to wave that flag of freedom today; now we have many who want to come in and take that freedom away.

That’s why these college-age young men who held up the flag during the riots are very special. They understood that they were fighting for our beliefs and for the principles our country was founded upon. They realized that the very reason they get to attend schools of their choice and study what they choose is because of the freedoms our nation advances. I wonder if they honestly knew that they would be a part of history or if they realized what a ripple effect their actions would start?

While I’m proud of these young men, I also feel a sense of embarrassment. Embarrassment for our leaders that took an oath with their hand on the Bible to serve God and country and to protect our rights and freedoms. These young men could teach some of our elected leaders in Washington a thing or two. Perhaps our leaders should spend some time with these young men, ask them about the fire in their bones that made them rise up to defend what they knew was right, and then ask yourselves why you aren’t doing the same.

It is not just about serving in the military. Our military can’t do it all alone, just like our first responders can’t fight every battle with only a few people behind them, but when we all lock arms and fight together, much will change, and it needs to start now. Men, it’s your job to lead this fight.

God bless these young men and all the others that are fighting back for our American freedoms!

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. She is the author of "Unexplainable: Inspirational Stories of God's Love in the Most Unique Ways." Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

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