Column: Honor Flag Day

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Commentary by Rick Baum

Stunned by the horrific attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, our nation faced a wake-up call, prompting patriotic Americans to show their solidarity by the increased display of our United States flag. The flag represents cherished freedom and our resolve to protect it at all costs.

Our nations flag is particularly celebrated on June 14, known as Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the flag by resolution of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Near the end of World War II, President Harry Truman said, As we press forward to final victory, we are strengthened with the knowledge that for millions of people in other lands as well as in our own, our flag is a living token of human integrity and freedom.

Our nations flag reveals a history of struggle, suffering, lives sacrificed and crippled bodies for freedoms sake. It is the banner representing our religious freedom, Bill of Rights and Constitution.

In the late 1800s, schools across the U.S. observed Flag Day programs to contribute to the Americanization of immigrant children. The children were taught with respect to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Our military men and women recite oaths to defend the flag, salute it, wear it on their uniforms, display it in their fortresses, aircraft, and ships. The flag is carried by our Guardians of Freedom into their battle missions.

Draped upon a veterans casket, our nations symbol of freedom displays a historical message through the 50 stars, 13 stripes and 21 folds, all declaring a sacred tribute.

Our national flag is displayed on uniforms, vehicles, postage stamps, in embassies, war memorials, museums, courthouses and state capitals to remind citizens of their identity as a free people and sovereign government.

Known as Old Glory, her colors represent the heart and soul of a free nation.  Red represents zeal and valor; white represents hope, purity and innocence; and blue is the color of heaven, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.

Poems and song lyrics are composed, books written and artists and photographers accent the flags beauty and symbolism. Our national anthem is sung in grateful tribute to it.

Through all generations since our nations birth, the flag stands as a unifying icon of respect, pride and liberty.

The U.S. Flag Code provides clear guidelines for its display, etiquette to respect it and the dignified way to retire it.

The Zionsville American Legion, promoting flag etiquette and Americanism, encourages you to display a flag on your home.The Legion provides a container at the post for you to discard your unserviceable flags and sells replacement flags.

Rick Baum, U.S. Marine veteran

Post chaplain and service officer

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