Austin, Rochester Celebrate Flag Day

Posted at: 06/14/2013 9:55 PM
Updated at: 06/17/2013 8:45 AM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) – If you've seen more of that red, white, and blue, it's because Friday was flag day! A day to honor the American Flag.

This symbol may hold a different meaning to every one of us, for some veterans it's the welcome home they never got. "Veterans shed their blood and died...." said Vietnam Veteran Tommy Michael Carey almost in tears. His welcome home, he says, wasn’t so honorable.

Others get the feeling of pride every time they look at the flag. "It's a patriotic symbol to me, I love the flag," said Commander Roland Hanson of the American Legion Post 91.

Others see the flag as a symbol of unity. "We’re an immigrant county and there's very little that we actually all agree on, except the flag," said the owner of Harold Flags, Lee Harold.

Then there are those who've overlooked it's meaning. Flag Day, is all about bringing that meaning to life. "We need constant reminders of the costs of our liberties and our freedom, and displaying the stars and stripes is a constant reminder," said Carey.

Veterans and Boy Scouts were part of a ceremony in Austin. Over in Rochester, people gathered at Soldiers Field singing "God Bless America."

Both communities celebrated what this day represents but also shared the history behind the flag. "It's 236 years old. We're on our 27th flag and the 50th star flag is now, as a of a year ago, the longest used America flag pattern," said Harold.

However, Flag Day isn't solely about education. It’s a day to express how much the American Flag means to you. "The red, white, and blue waving in the sky, if it don't give you goose bumps, there's something really wrong," smiled Hanson.

We're told every Elks Lodge in the United States holds ceremonies like the ones you saw Friday.