THORNVILLE – As Thornville prepares to celebrate its bicentennial during Fourth of July weekend, Thornville Mayor Beth Patrick proclaimed June 14 to be the village’s first official Flag Day during a community ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park hosted by South Shore Ministries Pastor Doug Lynn.
“In August 1949, President Harry S Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day,” said Lynn. “Since then, the president proclaims the commemoration yearly, and encourages all Americans in the country to display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes and businesses.” He said there were few public ceremonies honoring the American flag until 1877, when on June 14 it was flown from every government building in honor of the centennial of the flag’s adoption. The first official Flag Day was observed in Philadelphia in 1893; New York also adopted Flag Day in 1897. Lynn said other states were slow to follow because people believed June 14 was too close to Memorial and Independence days.
Several people told what the American flag means to them during Tuesday’s ceremony. “It means absolute freedom to me. I love being an American,” said Perry County probate and juvenile court Judge Luann Cooperrider.
“It means that I am a free citizen,” said Boy Scout Thomas Burns. He said the flag is a reminder of the brave men and women who still defend our shores.
“ I remember when my dad was deployed twice,” said Girl Scout Emily Rickey. Coincidentally, June 14 is her birthday as well as the American Army’s birthday. Her father, Tim Rickey, is a combat medic and Army instructor who served two tours in Iraq. “The Army is older than the United States itself,” he said. “We will continue to serve and keep the country safe. I see the best and worst of operations. Many of our soldiers, the last thing they saw was the American Flag above them.”
Edgar Orr represented American Legion Post 342 and Commander Ron White led a flag disposal ceremony. Timothy Curry led Taps, Manitha Lyle sang the National Anthem, and Lee Crader and his guitar opened the ceremony.
Lynn thanked Patrick, the Thornville Village Council, Thornville Police Chief Darrell Ball and officers, the Boy and Girl Scouts and their committed leaders, the American Legion and Active Duty Personnel, and the Greater Buckeye Lake Tea Party, which sponsored the ceremony.
“Go home,” said Lynn at the ceremony’s conclusion. “Sleep in peace.”