My grandfather was a US nurse in WWII and I found a bunch of cool patches from his service. Over the years, I’ve sewn them over all sorts of holes. Recently, I’ve been called out on my blatant ignorance… what I had once thought were a couple of cool lightning bolts symbolizing who-knows-what, is actually a Nazi SS patch, which I have been parading around for who-knows how long. Now, I think it’s interesting that he had an SS patch in the first place. Did he save the life of a POW and get the patch as a gift? There’s a story here about humanity and the realities of war, I think. I’ll never know, but I’m proud of my grandfather for his service and think he was a wonderful man. However, no one else knows this but me. Anyone who sees my SS patch will come to other conclusions. I will insult, push away and alienate who-knows-how-many people if I keep wearing that patch, and I will continue to show my ignorance. I’m removing the patch, of my own free will, because even though I like where it came from I don’t like what it symbolizes to the rest of the world. And by the way, the government will never force me to remove the symbol from my pants, but neither will they use your tax dollars to stamp it on my license plate, or paint it on a school mural in honor of my grandfather. Happy freedom day.
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