What with Memorial Day and Flag Day just past and July 4 before us, the following data is quite relevant: Flag Day came to be in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the stars and stripes as our national flag.
In 1884, Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, signed an order establishing Arlington Cemetery as military burial ground. There are 260,000 graves there and each veteran buried there is considered a hero. A flag is presented to the family and eight color guard will be supplied if they desire. The flag presentation came about on military caskets due to the Civil War when they ran out of caskets each body was draped in our flag for burial. A thousand vets die each year. This year the Senate is close to the vote on flag protection. Many have gone to Washington to testify on its behalf.
American Legion National Commander said to Congress, " A piece of cloth -- of no value? Is this their position? God help our nation if it is their final testament that the flag that may yet drape the coffins of some of our sons and daughters is just a piece of cloth in their eyes."
When we moved into our home on Whitefish's back bay in 1976 there was a typed framed poem on the wall the author hadn't signed but went as follows and so appropo: "Oct. 25, 1968, I'm nearly four score years. I feel I would like to do something to bring my beloved country back to a government of the people, by the people and for the people, so that Old Glory might wave as proudly as she did in days of yore.
"America, I love you, you mean the world to me. I cherish your inception for life and liberty. Oft times I unfold Old Glory, even though mine has but 48 stars to see what it may have to say to disdained people of the country over which it once so proudly waved. The red has turned to crimson, the white is turning gray. The blue is fast fading, like horizons far away. Lamenting sounds are audible to those who lend a listening ear. She seems to plead her cause by stating the simple fact. I love my colors as in former years and hate to droop in shame, because of rights you've given up; you know I'm not to blame. And then in sweet comforting words I hear it affirm in no uncertain terms, I love all my stars as well as my stripes, and I will again proudly wave, when my country it can again be said, 'You're the land of the free and the brave.'"
So honor our flag on the 4th! Remove your hats! Please.
Congratulations to the officials of Brainerd and Baxter on their tentative agreement regarding future boundaries in Unorganized Territory. It's heartening to see both cities working together to resolve this issue without spending a half a million dollars of taxpayer money on legal expenses. Both City Councils will review and vote on the boundary recommendation at their next Council meeting -- July 5th for Brainerd and July 11th for Baxter. I encourage Chamber member businesses to contact their City Council representative and express an opinion about this agreement.
Lisa Paxton, CEO
Area Chambers of Commerce
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