Every day should be Flag Day

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

There's a reason we place our hands over our hearts when we pay respect to the American flag. By doing so, we can feel our heartbeat.

The symbolic act floods us with a feeling that is beyond description. It's just there. Real deep. It's love, for sure. Love of country. But it's more. It's pride in what the flag represents. It's also thankfulness for the sacrifices so many have made to preserve our nation's freedom.

Thoughts like this flow though our minds today. It's Flag Day and we are reminded of the extraordinary importance of the Stars and Stripes in proclaiming our nation's greatness and independence.

On this special day, the Gazette proudly joins business and professional firms in sponsoring, "A Grand Old Flag," a two-page, full color tribute to the flag we affectionately call "Old Glory." The presentation appears on pages 10 and 11 of today's newspapers.

We are grateful to the Gazette's new Special Projects Coordinator, Gloria Masoner, for coming up with the design and calling it to the attention of the Gazette's advertising, design and news departments.

We are also grateful to the firms who have joined in sponsorship of the page. They have performed a valuable public service, reminding residents throughout the region of the importance of proper care and respect for the flag.

We are fortunate in this area to have the American Flag displayed so proudly and prominently. This is especially true during Memorial Day observances, when cemeteries throughout the Golden Plains unfurl rows upon rows of American flags.

However, flag displays are not just for special days. They are an everyday occurrence in Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas. The Red, White and Blue flies over schools, government buildings, business places and other designated locations. In McCook, the flag at the top of Norris Avenue -- at the start of the Norris Islands -- is in an especially dramatic location. Large in size and prominent in its centralized location, the flag reminds us how dear our nation -- and our freedom -- is to us.

The flag also serves as a way to show our respect, flying at half-staff -- as it is now -- in memory of J.J. Exon, the former Nebraska Governor and U.S. Senator who died last week. In the Heartland, the American flag is special. We salute it today -- and everyday -- with respect and devotion.

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