June 14 was flag day and besides the hundreds of flags that lined the streets of our cities and towns, the local Elks paid tribune to the special day with a ceremony in the Peace Garden in Price. As I sat there in the hot summer sun listening to Elk members talk about the history of the United States flag and several patriotic musical selections it took me back to the past couple years. It seems as though we have been given a major dose of patriotism since 9-11.
In an editorial last September I talked about living in Bullhead City, Ariz. when the tragedy of 9-11 struck. That very night a local community group gathered to prepare more than 300 American flags which lined the streets in Bullhead City and Highway 95. I remember the stories that evening from several elderly ladies who recall similar projects when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Ever since that traumatic day it seems as though American pride has escalated and here we are, following a war in Iraq, reminded once again of what our flag stands for.
Jim Robertson, former Carbon County sheriff, presented the final speech Saturday in the Elks tribute to Flag Day. His speech gave an incredible overview of our flag and its importance. As I listened I knew that his message is an important one for all of us to never forget. Basically his overriding theme was that Flag Day should be everyday.
"We see the stars and stripes of our nation flying daily over government buildings, from local city halls to our nation's capitol. We see it flying over post offices and displayed on front porches and yards of our citizens who are proud to show their respect and affection for Old Glory and all that it stands for," began Robertson.
He continued saying that people can observe it flying at thousands of monuments, memorials, and cemeteries throughout the country. He talked about places like Arlington Cemetery, Gettysburg, Fort Leavenworth, the Little Big Horn in Montana, the Presidio in San Francisco.
He pointed out that the flag "also flies every day at other final resting places in foreign lands of those who made the supreme sacrifice of their own lives, preserved the freedoms this nation represents. Places like Hamm, Luxembourg, Belgium; the Netherlands, Chateau Thierry, Anzio, Italy; and the Philippine Islands, all come to mind where our flag flies every day."
On what is now Flag Day, in 1777 the Stars and Strips was selected by the Continental Congress to be our national symbol.
"I am of the opinion, having seen much of what I have mentioned, does not lend any credence to those who are against reciting the pledge of allegiance in the public schools," pointed out Robertson.
"I hope what is being done at this place on this day will trigger a renewed love of the red, white and blue symbol which to paraphrase stands for all that is good about America. And that good is every day. America is our country, We made it what it is. Our flag reminds us of that every day," he concluded.
Every day is flag day.