Sidewalksby Tom Deignan
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Brooklyn native and Vietnam vet John Flanagan identifies himself proudly as “the fifth child of first generation Irish.” And like many Irish Americans born after World War II, Flanagan felt a strong sense of American patriotism.
“I was very happy to be an American and I understood what it meant,” he says. “Of course, growing up Catholic, every morning we said the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer; I mean, that’s just the way it is.
The year is 1988. Probably. I’m getting older and the past is getting a little hazier.
All I know is I joined a bunch of excited friends and piled into a car and headed off to New Jersey. Were we going to a rock concert at the old Brendan Byrne Arena? A football game at Giants Stadium?
The American Catholic Church has lost an iconoclast and a prophet.