Remembering Barbara Bush in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”

On April 17, former First Lady Barbara Bush died at age 92. During her long and illustrious life, Mrs. Bush championed the cause of literacy — a passion that Bonnie Squires, board president of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, had the privilege of witnessing in action. Squires covered the former first lady during a stop at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Bush was reading to a group of children. Squires specifically recalls the touching moment when the first lady put one of the children on her lap while she read. [Read more…]

My Flag is Still Upside-Down

— Dr. Ted Tapper

About five years ago I decided to get “patriotic” and wear an American flag pin in my lapel. I continue to do so. However, there is one variation on this practice. I wear my flag pin upside down as a sign of distress, as a sign of serious national emergency.

Since we invaded Iraq in 2003, over 4,400 American servicemen/women have been killed in combat, not to mention the dead Americana and Iraqi civilians. In Afghanistan, over 1330 American servicemen/women have died, since the start of that longest-in-American-history war.

I am appalled that our country continues to behave as if we are not engaged in war. There is no draft, as there was in the 1960s and 1970s. People clamor for tax cuts in the face of wars that will ultimately cost billions of dollars when the final totals are in. Troops return with PTSD and brain damage and have poor medical care awaiting them stateside. The World Series goes on.

Therefore, the least I can do is honor our servicemen and declare that there is a national state of distress and emergency. My flag pin will be upside down until all our troops are home.