Ceremony marks Flag Day, Army birthday | NevadaAppeal.com

Ceremony marks Flag Day, Army birthday

Kirk Caraway
kcaraway@nevadaappeal.com
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal
NEVADA APPEAL | NEVADA APPEAL

Soldiers, veterans and dignitaries took part in a ceremony Friday morning at the state Capitol to celebrate Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s 234th birthday.

Held two days in advance of the actual holiday, the Nevada National Guard hosted the ceremony complete with military color guard to honor the symbol of this country and those who served under it. The Nevada Air Guard presented the different American flags and their history, from the Grand Union flag that predated the Declaration of Independence, to the flag we have today.

Col. Michael Carlson, Nevada Army Guard chief of staff, spoke about how the Army was created by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775.

“From the American Revolution to the current efforts against terrorism, American soldiers have always stepped forward, put their boots on the ground to fight for the freedoms we all cherish,” Carlson said.

Carlson also said in just a few days, more than 800 Nevada soldiers will be deployed overseas, and 500 more are preparing to join them.

“Nevada is definitely stepping up and doing its part in protecting our freedoms today,” he said.

Because of the volunteer nature of the American military, Carlson said families are playing a more important role than ever before.

“The Army isn’t just about soldiers. It’s about our families, those that enable us to serve and advance our commitment to our nation,” Carlson said.

Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell, a retired Navy captain, sent his birthday wishes to the Army and reflected on what the flag meant to him during his service in Vietnam.

“Looking through my photos of my service, I noticed a number of pictures that I had taken in those days that had the American flag prominently displayed in the background,” Crowell said. “I did that on purpose, but at the time I really didn’t contemplate why I did it. As I look back on those days, it occurs to me that the reason for so many pictures of the American flag was the immense pride I had in serving my country, particularly in a time of war.”

Crowell said he recently suggested to Nevada legislators that they take a walk up to the flag from C Hill to reflect on their duties.

“I suggested to them that they could regain a sense of purpose and balance by taking in the day from that vantage point, away from the noise and hubbub of downtown, away from cell phones and television, away from politics,” Crowell said. “A place were they could reflect on what is truly important in life, and how they can help make our state and country a better place.”