Our country’s flag has been in the news lately. To kneel or not to kneel and declaring the Betsy Ross Flag unfit to be emblazoned on sneakers.

But I remain optimistic because of a recent experience. As Flag Day Chairman, I witnessed many in Cherokee County enthusiastically showing their respect for the flag.

Individuals and organizations from each section of the county, plus out-of-town visitors participated in the 2nd Annual Flag Day Celebration and Picnic held at the War Memorial Park in downtown Jacksonville.

As the Marine Corp League Det. #1381 presented the Colors, approximately 130 attendees stood respectively, placed their hands over their hearts and in one united voice said the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.

The park was beautiful thanks to the City of Jacksonville, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and members of the Fire Department who trimmed hedges and readied the park. Ten large US Flags flanked the WWI Doughboy Statue. They were positioned by Randy Jackson of the Kiwanis Club. Also displayed was a 48 Star U.S. Flag which belong to Andrew Lugo’s grandfather who served in WW II.

Music filled the air, courtesy of Mike Kellogg. A light breeze insured that the flags were fully unfurled, a sight to behold as the crowd sang a rousing rendition of “It’s a Grand Old Flag”.

Senator Robert Nichols garnered the attention of everyone when he spoke of the Flag as a Symbol of Freedom. Nancy Washburn read a compelling letter her father had written home during WWII, his words provided a glimpse of his life while serving overseas.

Curator of the Vanishing Texana Museum, Larry Lydick, presented the history of Flag Day celebrations in our country and announced that after the program and picnic everyone was invited to tour the museum.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Julianna Sanford, Lone Star Military Resource Group and to the “Flag Lady” Patsy Dawson, of Kids First Christian Academy. Instruction in Flag Etiquette was presented by Chuck Bones, Commandant of the Dept. of Texas Marine Corp League.

Credit also goes to the following for making this patriotic event such a success. The Jacksonville Wednesday Study, The Jacksonville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution: Major Thaddeus Beall, Cherokee County Historical Commission, Jacksonville Public Library, artist Judy Seamands of Wall Work by Judy, Cherokee County Genealogical Society, Fred Douglass Alumni Association and the City of Jacksonville. All in all, Flag Day June 14, 2019, in Jacksonville, Texas, was a time for everyone to show loyalty to the principles we hold dear and to honor the flag. “Long May It Wave”

Deborah Burkett

Mixon, Texas