Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday was Flag Day . . .

I walked over to the National Reserve for Fort Vancouver where the celebration would take place and this site greeted me as I entered Officers Row.

The 204th Army Reserve band played to entertain us before the event started while we enjoyed a quick free meal of pizza, chips and Pepsi, topped off with an Apple Bar. During the program, they also played each of the different branches of the military theme songs. It was beautiful and something we have heard at many events. People in the audience stood as they heard their song being played. I stood up for my two sons who are in the Navy. The Army is leaving town this year to join the military unit near Tacoma. I hope they will return for special events as Officers Row events aren't the same without them!

When the event was ready to begin, it was the Army that had the honor of presenting the flags. As they walked forward with them, I couldn't help but feel pride in my flag and our country. The flags of the United States and Washington state were placed in stands by the gazebo as you will see in future photos.

Kyra Smith, a senior in high school next fall, sang the National Anthem beautifully. She has sung for many events since she was 8 years old! She also closed the program with a song, "Lift Every Voice." The Mayor, Royce Pollard, (who retired from the Army in our town and become Mayor years later), gave a welcome speech followed by several other people who helped sponsor the event.

Then, the "Sweet Adelines International" group sang two patriotic songs for us - dressed in their red, white and blue tops. They sang"Let Freedom Ring " and "God Bless America." (The lady you can see standing in the gazebo does the sign language for the program for those who need it.)

This photo and the next shows the flag flying high from an extended fire truck ladder --it was behind us and the Mayor brought it to our attention.

Up front, by the food concessions was an old fire truck, the mascot Dalmation and a fire fighter explaining about this old fire trucks history with the VFD here. He did this before and after the main event.

At 4:00 PM, the gigantic flag was unfurled and we all stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, joining millions of others across the United States saying it at the same time . It was a moment of pride in our nation! (One of these years, I am going to find a better seat to get a much nicer photo of this huge flag! In the meantime, this is a collage of the shots I got.)

After the 6 students (from two schools that participated) recited their patriotic poems in the gazebo, they stood in front of it and were presented with their certificates, a full size flag and other things to commemorate their winning entries in our Flag Day celebration.

It was a wonderful celebration! May we always be proud to fly our flag and remember what it stands for. . .


SandyCarlson said...

Looks like a wonderful time. I wish our town had somehow marked the day.

cieldequimper said...

Very nice post (and I love that fire engine! ;-))

Love Bears All Things said...

You're lucky to have something like that you can go to. If there was anything like it around here, I'm unaware of it.
I tried to change your link and ended up deleteing the all. Then I got about half of my favorites back in a list, lost the connection. Oh, Well, I will try another day. Meanwhile you are in my dashboard blogs I follow so I don't miss too many of your posts.
Mama Bear

Katney said...

Quite a celebration. Here we only have the flags along the streets. It is a small town. We do have an Independence Day flag ceremony on July 4th put on by the Boy Scouts and a pancake breakfast.

Malyss said...

What an interesting and impressive post, Paulie!We have not such celebrations around here. I understand that you can be moved , when having two sons in the navy; I guess you must not see them very often.. This ceremony seems so rich, with singers, army's orchestra, old fire engine..I'm sure you had a wonderful day!

RuneE said...

A belated congratulation! I think you have lots of days that we don't have - and vice versa probably. We all need something to relate to.

PS Thank you for the comment! I couldn't live without having the sea nearby - and I have tried!

Cindi said...

What a fantastic celebration. I'm glad that you were able to capture it for us. I would have loved hearing the band play and the Sweet Adelines singing. I hope it was fairly well attended. It seems that not enough people honor the military and/or flag as used to, and that makes me sad.

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