Celebrating Flag Day
By John M. Ayers
A large group of Gilchrist County residents were in attendance Thursday morning to celebrate the program honoring “Ole Glory”, the American flag.
This program was held to celebrate an Act of Congress under President Harry Truman designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.
Jim Mash, Gilchrist County Veterans Service officer, welcomed everyone to the celebration that began at 11:30 a.m. He introduced James Ripley, chaplain of American Legion Post 91 of Trenton. Chaplain Ripley led the group in the opening invocation.
Jim Mash, Gilchrist County Veteran Service officer, addressed the crowd attending the Flag Day ceremony on Thursday morning at the Gilchrist County Memorial Park in Trenton. James Ripley, American Legion Post 91 Chaplain, right, and Jose Cintron, left, were involved in the program which was sponsored by the Gilchrist County Historical Society and the Veterans Service Office.
Jose Cintron, the District chaplain of the American Legion in the Tri-county area led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Christie McElroy, a candidate for Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools was in attendance with her husband Michael McElroy, president of Ameris Bank in Trenton. Mrs. McElroy spoke up and asked if she could sing the national anthem. As the crowd turned and addressed the American flag flying at the top of the flag pole on the courthouse lawn, Mrs. McElroy’s voice was a beautiful expression of the very proud feelings we as Americans can be thankful for each and everyday. She did a great job as she lifted up the pride of the American people in a cappella.
Jim Mash gave a brief history of the American flag and how the fifty stars represented each of the states that make up the United States of America. The thirteen red and white stripes representing the thirteen original colonies are to the right and bottom of the field of blue with the white stars. The flag is always flown with the blue field in the upper left corner. Mash explained that the American flag should always be handled with respect. It is folded properly when it is taken down from the flag pole before night and the flag should never touch the ground. The American flag is flown at half staff for 30 days to signify a tragedy or death has occurred in the United States of America. When the flag becomes old and torn, it is then retired. American flags should then be burned or buried, but never thrown in the trash.
Gilchrist County Property Appraiser Damon Leggett and his staff member Lyle Wilkerson grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for a light lunch for the public following the program.