JONESVILLE — Sandwiched between Memorial Day and Independence Day is a holiday often forgotten by many, Flag Day. Residents of Jonesville, however, were able to celebrate the nation’s flag and honor area veterans on Saturday in the community’s first ever Flag Day parade.
“It’s real patriotic,” said participant Gayle Macy. “Nowadays it’s hard to get anybody to be real patriotic.”
Macy, an Army veteran, said the American flag reminds him of men he knows who fought in World War II and the many who lost their lives in that war.
“When I look at the flag, I look at those old World War II veterans, they’re my heroes,” he said.
Kenneth McGee, another Flag Day parade participant, said the flag reminded him of his days in the service and the importance that was placed on the flag.
“It makes me think about when I was in the Coast Guard,” McGee explained. “When I was on search and rescue boats, the boat didn’t leave the pier until we put that flag on the stern of that boat and it was really pretty seeing that thing flying with that bow up in the air and cutting a wake through there.”
Both men agreed that any person who has been in the service of the nation, has an extra level of respect for the flag and the playing of the national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“I think of Fort McHenry in Baltimore where Francis Scott Key wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’” McGee said. “I think everybody needs to go see Fort McHenry.”
Phyllis Salley, the granddaughter of a World War I veteran, has a son on active duty in the Coast Guard and many other family members who are veterans and that was why she said it was important to her to participate in Saturday’s Flag Day celebration.
“Flag Day means a tremendous amount to me,” she said.
Members of the Jonesville Business Association welcomed guests to the ceremony following the parade and Jonesville Mayor Gene Pardue gave a brief speech.
“Today is a special tribute to our veterans, police, firemen, Red Cross and EMS, each one has an important role in our country,” Pardue said. He also shared a few words about Flag Day.
“It’s good to see our country’s flag flying, bright colors and the striking design that stands for our country’s land, its people, its government and its ideals. The flag can stir people to joy, to courage and to sacrifice. Many men and women have died to protect our country’s flag from dishonor and disgrace.”
At the close of the ceremony, attendees stood in salute to the flag as the national anthem was sung and area veterans gave a 21-gun salute.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.