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Flag Day Observance in Clarksville-Montgomery County

Clarksville, TN – Flag Day was officially observed in Montgomery County yesterday at VFW Post 4895 located off of Haynes Street behind the former location of Gateway Hospital.

The Ceremony was held under the Auspices of the Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization, Marine Corps League, Detachment 603, The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 45 VFW Post 4895, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 457, with the assistance several young members of Cub Scout Pack 503, Brownie Pack 504, and under the watchful eye of fire fighters from Clarksville Fire Rescue Station #4. Stacey Hopwood served as the Emcee. DAV Commander Art Taylor and VFW Post service officer David Ross conducted the burning ceremony.

VFW Post service officer David Ross honorably retires a flag during the Flag Retirement Ceremony during Flag Day
VFW Post service officer David Ross honorably retires a flag during the Flag Retirement Ceremony during Flag Day


The Pledge of Allegiance was said. Then the Invocation was given by Disable American Vets Chaplin Carmen Cherry. Disabled American Veterans Past National Commander Art Taylor then shared the history of Flag Day with attendees.

Hopwood said during her remarks, “Those of us who have raised our right hand and pledged our allegiance to that flag see it in a different way than the rest of the world. It is primarily because of those emotions that we Americans feel for our flag that we observe Flag Day annually. That is why we are here every year on June 14th to pay the proper respect to our worn and tattered flags and to ensure they are given the proper tribute and consideration when they are destroyed “

Stacey Hopwood with Art Taylor
Stacey Hopwood with Art Taylor

She then read Old Glory which was written by Howard Schnauber, a WWII Vet.

I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory.

I fly atop of the world’s tallest buildings. I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.

I fly majestically over great institutions of learning.

I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world. Look up! And see me!

I stand for peace – honor – truth and justice.

I stand for freedom.

I am confident – I am arrogant.

I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners my head is a little higher. My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one.

I am recognized all over the world.

I am worshiped – I am saluted – I am respected.

I am revered – I am loved, and I am feared.

I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years:

Gettysburg, Shiloh, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne forest,

Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy, the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines, the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu, and many more islands. And a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.

I was there.

I led soldiers – I followed them. I watched over them. They loved me.

I was on a small hill on Iwo Jima. I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me, and I was proud.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free.

It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my own country, and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle, it hurts.

But I shall overcome – for I am strong!

I have slipped the bonds of earth and stand watch over the uncharted new frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.

I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours. But my finest hour comes when I am torn Into strips to be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle, when I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers, and when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son.

I am proud. My name is old glory.

Dear god, long may I wave.

The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1 pertains to the flag; Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 700 regards criminal penalties for flag desecration; Title 36, Chapter 3 pertains to patriotic customs and observances. These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

Inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, Woodrow Wilson officially established Flag Day by Proclamation on May 30th 1916. On June 22, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved House Joint Resolution 303 codifying the existing customs and rules governing the display and use of the flag of the United States by civilians. The law took effect on August 3rd 1949. The Code was reenacted, with minor amendments, as part of the Bicentennial celebration. I n the 105th Congress, the Flag Code was removed from title 36 of the United States Code and recodified as part of title 4.

The code states “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”

The Flags were collected throughout the previous years by various community organizations Including the Montgomery County Veterans Service organization and the Marine Corps League. These organizations serve as a drop off points for worn out flags all year long.

Well over 1,000 flags were consigned to the flames in the following the ceremony by VFW Post service officer David Ross and several volunteers. The flags ranged from small hand held flags, to three 30’ x 60’ monsters that flew over Bill Roberts Thunder Road Automotive and Marine on Riverside Drive. In addition to National Flags, were State flags, Armed Service Branch Flags, 101st Airborne Division Flags, Military Chaplin Flags, POW/MIA flags, and even flag bunting.

The final flag of the 2011  Flag Retirement Ceremony is committed to the flames
The final flag of the 2011 Flag Retirement Ceremony is committed to the flames

The Ceremony

[wpaudio url=”http://www.mediafire.com/file/1tnk6r9bf5amgk2/Flag%20Day.mp3″ dl=”0″ text=”Montgomery County Flag Day Ceremony”]

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Bill Larson
Bill Larson
Bill Larson is  is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave. You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.

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