225th Flag Day Celebrated Today
June 14, 2002
As women and men poured into the American Legion meeting Thursday evening, many of them had much to say about the significance of the U.S. flag on the eve of its 225th birthday.
Flag Day, which is celebrated today commemorates the June 14, 1777, adoption of the U.S. flag by a Marine Committee Resolution for the original 13 United States.
Steve Lott who served two years in the Marine Corps said his dad was a Marine in World War II.
“[The flag] is a symbol of our country and implies a lot, like patriotism, sacrifice, and enjoyment of freedom,” he said. “That the flag has been around for 225 years is proof that we’re the strongest nation in the world and we’re willing to change.”
Steven Whitaker, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America and a prospective American Legion member, served one year in the Gulf of Tonkin, and four years total in the Navy. He was born into a Navy family.
“It’s a symbol of our country,” said Whitaker about the U.S. flag. “It’s freedom. It’s unity. My father was a very proud to be an American, and so am I.”
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The American Legion has just started a women’s auxiliary open to wives, mothers, sisters and daughters. This Saturday the auxiliary will deliver 60 gift baskets to the Veterans Hospital Saturday to commemorate Father’s Day and to thank the veterans for their service.
Gil Ayarbe who served in the Army as a parachutist in Japan came up with the idea to put the American flag on C Hill with his friend and fellow dog-walker, Dan Mooney.
“It represents that our country is based on civil rights,” Ayarbe said. “Others embrace it besides ourselves and I feel comfort in that.”
“The reason I wanted to put that flag up there in the face of crisis is to help people feel secure and safe,” Mooney said. “Many people have said they look up there and get a feeling of contentment and security.”
On display at City Hall is a timetable following the beginning construction of the flag all the way through to its final dedication. Entering off of Carson St., the display will be on your right-hand side.
Mooney said he spent two months of solid labor working on the flag at C Hill.
“I never did get to serve [in the military],” he said, “but perhaps this makes up for it.”