The Brew: On This Memorial Day, Honoring Our Fallen, Our Flag, and Our Father in Heaven

The "Blessing of the Bikes" at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., March 24 in advance of Sunday's "Rolling to Remember" motorcycle rally around the Nation's Capitol.

By Al Perrotta Published on May 27, 2024

Happy Memorial Day!

As we go about our day, may we keep close to our hearts the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have laid down their lives so that we could be free.

At 5 p.m. Eastern time, during a special Al’s Afternoon Tea we get to meet one of those heroes, Michael Ollis, as I talk with bestselling military author and Stream editor Tom Sileo about his new book,  I Have Your Back. One question I asked actually applies to all the service members we’ve lost: “What is it that makes someone put himself between a suicide bomber and a stranger?”

Rolling to Remember

Yesterday, the annual “Rolling to Remember” motorcycle rally rumbled around the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands off veterans and supporters roared past museums, monuments, and the U.S. Capitol in honor of their fallen brothers and sisters. It is an overwhelming sound like no other as the bikers thunder past — louder than a heavy medal concert from the ’80s, with the pressure of sound pushing the air out of your lungs. Or perhaps it’s the magnitude of the sacrifices it represents that takes your breath away.

“When we go on this ride, you know what we’re here for,” AMVETS Riders President Natalie Cummings told DC News Now. “It’s touching. It means everything to them to be remembered and honored that they served our country, and that’s what we should be remembering this weekend.”

Tell that to the National Park Service commissioner in Alaska.

Patriotic Convoy Descends on Denali National Park After NPS Orders American Flags Removed

A construction crew working on a bridge in Alaska’s Denali National Park was proudly displaying the American flag on two trucks and a piece of equipment. That didn’t sit well with the park’s commissioner, Brooke Merrell. According to one of contractors working on the bridge, Merrell sent a letter to the construction crew after a tourist complained, ordering them to take the flags down because Old Glory “detracts from the park experience.”

Let’s stop right here for a fun fact: Denali National Park and Preserve is roughly ten thousand square miles in size, encompassing some 6.1 million acres. That makes it bigger than New Jersey. And a  couple of flags hanging on construction equipment is going to detract from the park experience? Sure. And Alaskan salmon swim upstream just to be contrary. 

But Al, maybe Commissioner Merrell is just anal about maintaining as pristine a setting as possible for visitors, and has nothing against the flag, per se, you say. Well, according to the Alaskan Watchman, Merrell moved to Alaska from Portland, Ore., where she worked for the (radical) city and assorted “left-leaning environmentalist and social justice groups.”

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Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) described Merrell’s order as an “outrage” and demanded an explanation from the National Park Service.

Alaskan patriots aren’t happy either. Libs of TikTok reports they organized a “Patriotic Convoy” which traveled up from Fairbanks “with flags from Walmart” on Sunday afternoon.

One local resident made the protest personal. According to Must Read Alaska, a neighbor who shares a driveway with Merrell lined his driveway with American flags Friday.

Another Story From the “Liberals Hate Patriotic Flags” File: Wiki Rewrote Entry on “Appeal to Heaven” Flag in Wake of Alito Controversy

Reporter Andrew Kerr of the Washington Free Beacon noticed something peculiar the other day. It looks like the Wikipedia entry for the “Appeal to Heaven” flag has undergone a radical makeover. Before Wednesday, the entry detailed the honorable and generations-long history of the flag. But since news broke that Justice Samuel Alito flew the flag from a beach home last summer and there is an all-out effort to get hime to recuse himself from some crucial upcoming cases involving former President Donad Trump, Kerr reports the Wiki entry about the “Appeal to Heaven” flag is now about how it is the very “symbol of Christian nationalism and right-wing extremism.”

Here are a couple of examples of how ridiculous this controversy is:

Liberals don’t have much use for God, either.

New Jersey Beach Was Forced to Open Sunday Morning for the First Time in 155 Years

The beach town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, is noted for its long embrace of Christ, and has retained the once-common dedication to keeping Sunday holy. For 155 years, a mile-long stretch of beach owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been closed every Sunday morning “to honor God.”

Until yesterday.

Last Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rejected the Methodist-affiliated association’s bid to rescind an October order forcing their private beach to open on Sunday mornings. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association argued that the beach is open 365 days a year and 99.5% of the time, and is being “abundantly reasonable.” No, said DEP, and threatened group with $25,000 per day in fines until they violated their consciences.

The association agreed to comply for now, but vowed to continue to fight in court to “protect our religious and property rights.”

Speaking of God and beaches, Stream writer Aliya Kuykendall’s latest “Sunny Side”reports how “300 Churches Across California Baptize 12,000 on Pentecost Weekend.”

Victory: Hate Charges Dropped Against Vet Who Beheaded Satan Statue

“Not today, Satan.” That’s how Mike Cassidy responded after felony charges against him were dropped in exchange to pleading guilty to a lesser charge Friday. Cassidy was arrested last year after beheading a statue of Baphomet that Satanists had erected in the Iowa Capitol.

Cassidy agreed to plead guilty to third-degree criminal mischief and pay a fine, avoiding any prison time. The Democratic Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham juiced the charges against Cassidy to include a hate crime, possibly subjecting the 36-year-old Christian veteran to five years in the slammer.

“It is because of the people that came to his aid and an outstanding legal team that we were able to back the prosecutors into a corner and get this resolution,” said Cassidy’s attorney, David Youts. “Forcing the prosecutors to drop the hate crime is a huge victory for Cassidy and for religious freedom.”

Along The Stream

Stream publisher James Robison appears today with the inspirational “Brokenness Will Come.”

Plus we have Part Two of our “Long Holiday Weekend Read” series from William Dembski, “There Are New Atheists in Fox Holes.”


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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