Ceremony, parade honor United States and veterans
For more than 200 years, the American Flag has been the symbol of our Nation’s strength and unity.
It has been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens, and the American Flag has been a prominent icon in the history of the United States. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first flag act “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
Today, the flag consist of the original thirteen red and white stripes, seven red and six white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies; the stars represent the 50 states of our United States. The colors of the flag are symbolic: red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
This flag, as most everyone knows, has been taken into every battle our country has fought to protect our precious freedom we all sometimes take for granted. It is flown with pride at all government buildings, many times at half mast in honor and memory of the many individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and when something tragic happens like the attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
This American Flag continues to be our symbol of the freedom our fathers intended it to be, and continues with the many veterans who have given of themselves and so many to their lives to protect this freedom.
No matter how many think they can destroy it, it still remains strong and true to America because of the sacrifices so many have given to keep it flying as the symbol of “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All.” When our flag is so worn that is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be retired in a dignified manner
At 2 p.m. Nov. 9, all of the Miss-Lou will get a chance to see how worn and old flags are properly disposed of in our annual Veterans Day Flag Retirement Ceremony.
This ceremony has been held the past few years, sponsored by Co-Lin Community College, the local Boy Scouts of America and our local veterans on the Saturday closest to Veterans Day at the college campus.
This year, the ceremony will be held at the Natchez Convention Center. Since we cannot have a fire on the grounds of the convention center, veteran Doug McCallister, one of the organizers of this event, with the help and generosity of Co-Lin Community College, arranged for us to have a fire pit made for this annual event.
Everyone is invited to this very dignified ceremony to participate in the proper disposal of our flag as designated by federal law.
The local Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troops of the Miss-Lou have the honor of presiding at this ceremony, along with local veterans and anyone wishing to dispose of any worn flags they might have.
We plan to have a Military Honor Guard from Jena, La., along with Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and anyone wishing to participate and place the flags in the fire.
Also the local Knights of Columbus 4th Degree and Knights of Peter Claver are planning on being there as an honor guard. This Ceremony will be followed at 6 p.m. by a Veterans Day Parade, sponsored by the Miss-Lou Veterans Coalition, beginning at the bluff, coming up Main Street to Memorial Park and then down Franklin Street.
The parade theme will be “Patriotic,” so wear something red, white and blue and join in the celebration. Special cash prizes will be given out at random for the best patriotically dressed parade goers.
We will have flags to hand out to those who wish to stay for the parade and ask you to wave them as the parade passes.
Please make plans to attend these two very important events and share in the feeling of pride we all have for our country as we honor our veterans who have given so much of themselves for the freedom we enjoy.
If you have worn flags and want to have them properly disposed of, you can bring them to the ceremony or drop them off to me at Great River Chevrolet GMC.
I look forward to this celebration of our freedom and hope to see you there.
Ricky Warren is scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 168.