Flag Day 2020
Of all the special occasions we celebrate each year, Flag Day, June 14, stands out among the most important. Today, we’re not just honoring a flag ... its dyed fabric and thread. Instead, we are pausing to honor everything the iconic symbol represents … our country, its principles and our American way of life.
The American flag has heard the battle cry of every American conflict. It has ushered the brave men and women of our armed forces into treacherous and unknown lands, and for those who pay the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation – it solemnly escorts them home.
A silent sentinel of freedom, strength and peace, the American flag represents the heart and soul of our great country. It speaks in echoes of our nation’s past – of the founders of this country making their defiant statement in 1776. George Washington was among the first to interpret its symbols, stating: "We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing our liberty.”
To the members of the armed forces, our flag is a constant reminder – red symbolizing the blood shed from patriots who fought to ensure our country’s freedom, blue for the beating and bruising we endured to attain peace, and the white signifying the integrity with which our men and women serve and the purity of their mission.
Our beloved flag carries the sounds of battle, loyalty, courage, patriotism, sacrifice … and victory. It carries the sounds of freedom – and the solemn sound of a bugle blowing taps for all who have paid the highest price for that freedom.
Some may believe patriotism is out of style, or that the Pledge of Allegiance is a waste of time. We in the VFW will never feel that way.
How could the Declaration of Independence ever be out of style? "We hold these truths to be self-evident."
How can the Constitution ever be out of style? "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
And when has anyone read the Bill of Rights and thought of it as only a passing fad? "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively – or to the people."
The freedom we know and enjoy will never be out of style. Those documents; the declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, will never go out of style because they contain the feelings, hopes and dreams of all people for all time.
The American flag, whose broad stripes and bright stars represent those documents and the nation based on them, remains the pinnacle of American idealism and the beacon of enduring hope for the world. It will never be out of style as long as Americans cherish their freedom and are willing to fight to defend it.
Patriotism is the appreciation of the principles on which our country is founded. Politicians and policies may come and go, but the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness remain the same and are always in style.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag is our proud affirmation that we know what America stands for and we promise to believe in those principles. Today, we not only honor a flag, we are honoring our country and the way of life it represents.
From time to time throughout our history, men and women have been called to defend this country, and the VFW has more than 1.2 million such people in its ranks. For them, this day holds a special meaning. But you do not have to fight a war to protect America, or be a veteran to appreciate America … you just have to have the interest in America that each of you have shown here today.
By honoring and upholding the values our great nation was founded upon, you help defend our home, and our way of life. That’s why our flag is so special; it represents everything that we are and everything we can become. It represents our future … and our freedom.