We all juggle busy schedules this time of year, but when important dates come around it's imperative that we pause and show respect where it's due.
On Thursday, June 14, we were presented with two opportunities to pay tribute to the Flag to which we pledge our allegiance. Yet, only a handful of people were present at the flag retirement held at the American Legion that afternoon, or the ceremony hosted by the Elks Lodge at Veterans Park that evening. Equally disturbing was the lack of participation by community leaders.
Did you miss the party, too?
The following was submitted to the Tyler Star News regarding ceremonies held in Sistersville for Flag Day on June 14:
I have been with you, your fathers, and forefathers for over 237 years. I have stood tall and proud for you throughout many wars. Millions of men and women have sacrificed their life defending me. I am the only flag that has flown proudly on the moon.
I had a birthday party in Sistersville, WV, population 1,588 and only 25 people came. There was no mayor, no police department, no fire department, even though I flew proudly during 9-11 for the first responders. I was disturbed at only seeing two young patriots 16 years or younger, wondering if their parents have explained how important I am and the significance I play in their life.
There was a bright side. I saw at least five patriots ages 80 and above in attendance, although they struggled physically to get to my party. They sang the Star Spangled Banner and recited the Pledge of Allegiance as their eyes reddened and began to swell with water. These patriots understand what I've been through and the price of keeping me standing tall.
I am your flag! I will be having a birthday party again on June 14, 2013 and everyone is invited. Hope to see you there.