Grand old time honoring old glory

March 31, 2008 3:45:55 PM PDT
Today, citizens young and old got a chance to participate in a special ceremony honoring the American flag.Every Monday since December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, there has been a special ceremony honoring the American flag. This weekly commemoration moves across the country and goes on until Memorial Day.

Today, the six-month celebration marked its halfway point at Independence Mall, in the city where the flag and American freedom, were born.

"232 years. It's what's so exciting about being an American," Executive Director of Journey of Remembrance, Carmella LaSpada, said.

The program has a special focus: giving schoolchildren a chance to learn about the flag and patriotism from veterans themselves.

Today, 200 second graders from Churchville joined together with veterans from every war from World War I to the Persian Gulf War.

"We need to get our youth more involved in everything about the United States, our flag, and our vets," AmVets State Commander Gerald Hawk said.

It was also a chance for veterans, many of them disabled or remembering lost comrades, to hear that important phrase: thank you for your service.

"It's something that all the veterans deserve," Korean War veteran Bob Dimond said.

By the time this journey of remembrance ends on Memorial Day, old glory will have been honored at 25 historic sites, including 9 national cemeteries, 13 national parks, and the U.S. Capitol.

Gray skies and drizzle didn't put a damper on the pride and gratitude felt by the crowd on the Mall.