From our family to yours Happy 4th of July
Every year in America on July 4th, we celebrate our freedoms. Most of are looking forward to great food friends and family, and a great show of fireworks to finish it off.
In cities and towns large and small people gather for bbqs, potato salad, swimming and maybe some yard games. Those more inclined to rest spend time in the shade, surrounded by good conversations and a chance to catch up. Sip refreshing libations for children and adults. Watch the children expend their energies. Or simply enjoy you peace and quiet in red, white, and blue. On this day Americans happily fly the flag of our nation with pride. You see, this flag represents the sacrifices that have been made both here at home and abroad to give us what we enjoy today. It is unique to this country even though lots of others have done the same. Each independent nation on this world we call earth has a symbol like this. Whether born here, or not we stay here for the unique chance to make our own American dream.
Our traditionally consists of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, and or chicken. On occasion, we have even done t-bone steaks. Of course deviled eggs, potato salad, fresh veggie tray, baked beans, chips, flag cake, fruit salad, and watermelon, make for a filling meal.
Our family follows the tradition of fireworks, for the evenings entertainment. We leave it to the professionals to display an awe filled pyrotechnic show. Ours are usually choreographed to music played on a local station.
As I’ve grown older and faced health challenges, I’ve grown to appreciate my father’s stance of watching our local display on tv….in air conditioning, with volume control. My dad’s favorite movie the last 10 years he was with us was Independece Day. He would pull it out every July 4th to watch again. I wish he had been here to see the sequel he wanted.
As I look at the goings on in our world today, I’m reminded of the speech given in the movie. Is something like that going to be what it takes for humanity to put aside the characteristics I see dominating the news? I truly hope not.
As we prepare for our nation’s birthday this, July 4th, the love, patriotism, and family traditions continue to shape our future generations. From our family to your have a happy and safe 4th of July.
In America we fly our stars and stripes with pride. Indeed over many years, and many styles have come to be the “Stars and Bars” we see today. This symbol of our country is a lot more than a mere piece of cloth. This flag has consistently stood for freedom both here at home and around the world.
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This flag has seen us from the times of the American Revelution, and Civil War, through the times of today in places like Syria, Libya, Afganastan, Iraq, Suadia Arabia, Korea, France, Germany, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and many others. It has been welcomed around the globe by people liberated from oppression, persecution, tyranny and any other entity that holds peoples inaliable rights hostage. I am saddened by the events I see in the news today. As June 6th was the 75th Anniversary of D-Day its difficult to understand how we have come to this state of affairs. From D-Day our troops joined forces with many nations and were welcomed with great celebration in cities and villages across France, Poland, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and so many others. After liberating North Africa from the invasion force of the Axis powers.
Throughout our long history the men and women of our armed forces have sacrificed and died for the ideals in America and the freedoms we enjoy. Indeed those freedoms are so precious that we have people coming to our shores for the last 527 years. If you were lucky enough to be born here we should remember how hard won some of our freedoms are. Even in todays modern world people are still yearning for some of the basics we take for granted.
Since some of the etiquette has been forgotten over time here is the etiquette for the American Flag.
The standards below are from USflag.org I am simply publishing to my readership to remind them why our flag is both important and the proper way to care for and handle one. Anyone who has been given a folded flag fully understands the price of it and knows the value of which they hold.
STANDARDS of RESPECTThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyardThe flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.
Displaying the Flag OutdoorsWhen the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
Raising and Lowering the FlagThe flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
Displaying the Flag IndoorsWhen on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.
Parading and Saluting the FlagWhen carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
The SaluteTo salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National AnthemThe pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.
The Flag in MourningTo place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
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June 6th… In the dark days of WWII, with half of Europe overrun by The Axis Powers. America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. We declared a unanimously supported declaration of war. Our forces were marshalled and staged to enter the European conflict as it now became essential to turn the tide that had overtaken so many nations.
The unprovoked attack and devastation prompted thousands to enlist in the Armed forces of the day. “A day that will live in infamy”, it was termed. Our armed forces started preparing both men and equipment for the coming conflicts. Many unsung heroes from this day and who helped gather intelligence behind enemy lines are often forgotten to the pages of history. Thousands of our troops of all branch’s of service staged in some of the only places of freedom holding out in Great Britain.
After careful consideration by a team of cabinet advisors F. D. Roosevelt made the fateful decision to launch an offensive the size of which had not been seen at that time. Operation Overlord or D-day as it became known. Men, ships, tanks, amphibious landing craft, and a supply train of support had to both breech the outer defenses of the Atlantic Wall, envisioned by Hitler and Rommel. Our brave soldiers were joined by Troops from Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland, stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. 156,000 Allied troops made up the the landing by sea and air on five beachheads along the coast. Separate assault teams made perilous landings by both parachute and gliders in the dark of night to sabotage, and capture vital supply lines and bridges before the main landings on the beaches.
On June 6th we celebrate the freedoms so hard won in battles in this and other conflicts. Their bravery and sacrifices are why so many do not speak only one language. In todays world we hear a lot if talk about Diversity. These souls took a stand so we can celebrate our differences. As we look at the world today it is important to remember the lessons taught by the experiences of history. The rights and freedoms we so often take advantage of have been hard won by the sacrifices of those who have stood up for them both at home and abroad. While there are very few WWII Veteran’s still out there they have earned the respect and deference afforded them. They fought so we could live in freedom and peace.
Today we honor our heroes and I also give thanks as we celebrate a long list of holidays devoted to these ideals that a 3 day weekend for things like Memorial Day or 4th of July are not just about our backyard BBQ. These lessons need to be passed on to future generations as well. Places like Korea, Vietnam, Afganastan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and a long list of others (that I cannot remember at the moment), means we are still searching for fairness and peace. One day I hope Diplomacy will be enough to achieve this but until that day arrives we must be ready and willing to maintain these freedoms we enjoy. Are you wiling to stand up for these freedoms?
This was one of my dads Favorite movies. Every time I watch I remember him. He wasn’t in WWII but he taught me to appreciate the service and sacrifice spent this day. Starring Henry Fonda, John Wayne , Richard Burton, Eddie Albert, Paul Anka, Robert Mitchum, Richard Beymer, Robert Ryan, Jean-Louis Barrault, Arletty, Hans Christian Blech, Bourvil, Arletty Albert, Robert Wagner, Red Buttons , Sean Connery
- For more information on both the 75th Anniversary and D – Day itself I’ve included the links below. I do not own, contribute, or responsibility to the information they share.
- 75 Years a D Day Anniversary
- D-Day Landings
- D Day World Events 2019