For the 14th consecutive year several local service organizations will sponsor a Flag Day ceremony on Sunday, June 14.
The ceremony is held on even years at the Highland County AMVETS and on odd years at Hillsboro VFW Post 9094. But this year there will be a little different twist. Activities will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hillsboro Elks where a new and larger flag will be raised in front of the facility. The Highland County Veterans Honor Guard will be on hand to present a rifle salute and play Taps.
Following the ceremony the public is invited to the actual Flag Day ceremony at the AMVETS on North Shore Drive. There will be some words from Ian Cunningham, the original president of the local Highlanders Sons of the American Revolution Chapter (SAR), an official flag retirement ceremony, and other activities. Refreshments will be served.
Gerold “Buzzard” Wilkin, one of the main organizers of the event for many years, said this year’s ceremony may be a little shorter than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the age of many members of the local service organizations.
“But I didn’t want to let it go by,” Wilkin said. “We’ve been doing it for so long, I didn’t want to let it slip away.”
The SAR, Daughters of the American Revolution, AMVETS and honor guard will take part.
Cunning also spoke at the local ceremony two years ago.
“Do we need a reminder to fly the flag? I don’t think we should,” he said at the time. “I’m a flag waver. But when we read the newspapers and watch TV, a lot of people don’t know how to behave.” He said that if more people took time to honor the flag, the country would be better off.
Some of the days the flag should be displayed, according to Cunningham, are: New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12, Washington’s birthday on the third Monday in February, Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday in May, Memorial Day on the last Monday in May, Flag Day on June 14, Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, Independence Day on July 4, Labor Day on the first Monday in September, Citizenship Day on Sept. 17, Columbus Day on the second Monday in October, Election Day on the second Tuesday in November, Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7, and other state and local holidays.
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777 by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
Starting in 1985, late Hillsboro resident Norman DeHaas organized Flag Day ceremonies in Highland County that included erecting a new flag and flag pole at the location where the ceremonies were held. After organizing the event for 19 years, DeHaas passed away and his family continued the ceremony for a few years until the DAR, AMVETS and VFW took them over.
Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 each year. The day that also marks the birthday of the U.S. Army.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.