Today, Saturday 14 June, 2014 is one of those special days for American patriots and Soldiers. It is a day intertwined in the uniqueness representative of the greatness and exceptionalism of America. Today is Flag Day — and also the 239th birthday of our United States Army.
The Army was established on this day in 1775 and its motto is simple: “This We’ll Defend.” Our Soldiers do not take an oath to an individual, they take an oath to our Constitution. The Army has a long and distinguished history in service to our nation. From our start in the Revolutionary War to today in Afghanistan, men and women have passed on an impeccable legacy of service, sacrifice, and commitment. They have stood on freedom’s rampart to provide the promise of liberty, freedom and a better future, to so many across the world. The only ground our Army has ever asked for from other nations is just enough to bury our dead.
It was an honor to be part of that special legacy, a lineage of service in our own family. My dad was a Soldier who served in World War II. My young nephew serves now, carrying our family legacy forward — of course his dad, our family rebel, decided to go the way of the U.S. Marine Corps, our land combat brothers.
Last weekend our family got a chance to be with Soldiers on Ft. Riley and Ft. Leavenworth and it brought back great memories. I am sure there will be many a birthday celebration and lots of cake eaten today.
And today is also the 237th celebration of the day when our America adopted its flag.
As Liberty Voice explains, The annual observance of National Flag Day is held each June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Strips as the U.S. flag by Congress on June 14, 1777. However, the tradition began in 1885, when a 19-year-old school teacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, assigned his class to write essays on the flag and its significance. For years Cigrand continued to advocate June 14 as an observance of “Flag Birthday.”
In 1889, New York kindergarten teacher George Balch planned ceremonies for his school to be held on June 14, and later the State Board of Education in New York adopted his idea. In 1891 the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia celebrated a June 14 Flag Day, and the following year the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution picked up the idea. But it was not until April 25, 1893 that there was government involvement, when the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America requested that the mayor of Philadelphia, other authorities, and all private citizens use June 14 to display the American flag.
Over the years the idea caught on, and there were a number of organizations requesting that June 14 be an official national observance of the flag, including the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Resolution, the governor of New York, and the American Flag Day Association, and an increasing number of major cities began observing the day. After three decades of local and state celebrations President Woodrow Wilson officially established the 1777 anniversary of the flag resolution as June 14 on May 30, 1916.
How many of us will discuss the American flag with our children today? Heck, how many even know it’s Flag Day?
One thing is for certain, it is no coincidence that the Army birthday is the same as Flag Day – because it is “This We’ll Defend.” Happy Birthday to all Soldiers past, present, and future, and Happy Flag Day to all Americans.
Steadfast and Loyal.