June 5, 2000
The "Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance" is a call for Americans everywhere to join in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Flag Day, June 14th. This ceremony was first proposed in 1980 by the National Flag Day Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland.
The "Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance" became observed annually due to immediate widespread support, and became an official Flag Day Ceremony by an Act of Congress in 1985. The national ceremony will be held at its traditional location, Fort McHenry in Baltimore. This is the site where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write "The Star Spangled Banner" after he watched the flag flying there during the War of 1812. President Clinton will lead this year's "Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance" from the White House.
"I encourage all citizens to become a part of this strong expression of national solidarity," Mayor Noblet stated. "The American flag is a powerful symbol of our heritage. The beginning of a new millennium provides an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the freedom and opportunity we enjoy living in the United States."
For more information, visit the website set up by the National Flag Day Foundation located at www.flagday.org.
I remember some time ago, people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade, and naturally I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze. When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that the hand was directly over the heart--remember?
And you, I remember you--standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you, with her right hand over her heart--remember?
What happened? I'm still the same old Flag. Oh, I have a few more stars added through the years, and a lot more blood has been shed since parades of long ago. But now I don't feel as proud as I used to--when I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance when you look away.
Then I see the children running around and shouting; they don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take his hat off and look around. He didn't see anybody else with hats off so he quickly put his back on.
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been: Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea, and Vietnam? Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometime of those who never came back to keep this Republic free. One Nation Under God--when you salute me you are actually saluting them.
Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down your street again, so when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart--and I'll salute you by waving back and I'll know you remembered.
This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or grow in the light and be of service to others. But what I do with this day is important, because I have exchanged a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. I hope I will not regret the price I paid for it.