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Dorothy Philbin | CNBNews Columnist

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 23.17.43The flag at the Gloucester Township Municipal Building is flying at half-staff (photo by D. Philbin)


I admit that I really don't understand royalty.  What's with castles and crowns?  Palaces and tiaras?  And the bowing and curtseying (which I haven't done since the 4th. grade at St. Mary's.)  I also admit that being very, very Irish, I have ill feelings against the British Empire, having heard terrible stories of the British colonization of Ireland from my grandparents, aunts and uncles.  But the colonization is different from a queen who wasn't born at the time. Images-3

Thursday, September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the United Kingdom, passed away.  While discussing the day's events one person said to me "why do we care, we're not British?"  There was an American university professor who said she hoped the Queen's passing was excruciatingly painful because of the days of her country's colonization.  Why would intelligent, well-educated people think that way?  No compassionate person could ever want someone's passing to be excruciatingly painful - who could think such a thing?  
Though not an American leader, Queen Elizabeth II was a global leader over the past seven decades.  She deserves our respect.  She became Queen when she was a month shy of her 26th birthday.  Could any of us have taken on such a monumental task at that age?  Elizabeth had no formal education - she was educated at home.  When she became queen, she had to be tutored in world events, politics and finance.  She obviously learned well.
As a child she and her sister, Margaret, lived through the beginning of World War II.  Later she became a military driver and mechanic - during the blitzkrieg!  How many of us volunteer for the military at all?  Over the years of her reign, she led her empire through the Korean and Vietnam wars, her soldiers next to ours.  Her son, Andrew, fought in the Falklands War as a helicopter pilot and her grandson, Harry, fought side-by-side with his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.  No special treatment.
Elizabeth met every U.S. President from Harry S. Truman (1945 - 1952) through George W. Bush (2000 - 2008) with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson.  She met with leaders of every major country in the world.  
She empathized with America on 9/11/01 and for the first time ever her military band played a foreign national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, in front of Buckingham Palace.  This was especially important because it was written by Francis Scott Key while he was a prisoner of the British during the War of 1812.  I guess the queen, as well as most of us, thought it was time to put the past into the past and move on.
Though I still don't get the palaces and tiaras, the recently departed queen deserves our, America's, respect. If flying the stars and stripes at half staff shows our closest ally that respect, let our flags be raised to the top and then lowered to half staff.