Show respect for the flag
June 7, 2012
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- While attending the Sergeants Major Academy, a friend of mine was asked to tell everyone something about herself. She told them she cried every time the national anthem was played.
I have to admit, there have been times I have done the same.
When you combine the music, the flag of the United States and the reason the Star Spangled Banner is being played or sung, it can have a profound impact on our emotions.
Flag Day is June 14 and commemorates the adoption of the flag on June 14, 1777. The Army birthday is the same day and the Army is actually older than the flag with a birth date of June 14, 1775.
As we approach Flag Day, we must remember what the flag stands for and where it has been.
We express our patriotism and fly it outside our houses, businesses and at sports events. It is presented to retirees for years of service and presented to fallen Soldiers' next of kin at funerals. It has been planted on Mount Suribachi-Iwo Jima, on the mountain tops of Afghanistan, Mount Everest and even on the moon. It represents the greatest country in the world and it also represents our low points, high points, struggles, achievements and resiliency.
Some things to remember here on the depot -- when we hear "Reveille" in the morning and "Retreat/To the Colors" in the evening, please show the proper respect.
If you are driving on the west side of the installation and you hear the music and see the flag being raised or lowered, stop your vehicle, exit it and render the proper honors.
Always make sure you do it safely.
One last interesting thing to point out -- our national anthem is only the first of four verses of the entire Star Spangled Banner. It consists of only four sentences, three of which end in question marks. This includes the last sentence, "Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
Maybe Francis Scott Key was trying to tell us something back in 1814; that freedom isn't free and everlasting and we must always keep our guard up, be brave and defend our great country.