• 54°

Veterans memorial honors flag

The American Flag, by definition, is just a symbol of our nation; but to those who have fought and died under that flag, the red, white and blue cloth means much more.

Saturday, June 16, 2001

The American Flag, by definition, is just a symbol of our nation; but to those who have fought and died under that flag, the red, white and blue cloth means much more.

The flag has been the focus of many songs, poems and prose. Francis Scott Key was so moved by seeing the flag continuing to fly over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, he, the lawyer-poet, penned those famous words, "O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

The flag was also the focal point of one of the most famous wartime photographs ever caught on 35mm film – the raising of the flag by 6 Marines over Iwo Jima. Joe Rosenthal’s photo, which editors of U.S. Camera Magazine described by saying, "In that moment, Rosenthal’s camera recorded the soul of a nation."

And starting yesterday, the flag will also stand at the forefront of the county’s Veteran’s Memorial at Woodland Cemetery.

For its Flag Day ceremony, the memorial committee met at the site to raise the Ol’ Glory to the top of its new home. Once there, members of the Veterans of Foreign War in Ironton lowered the Stars and Stripes to half-mast in honor of the day.

County Commissioner George Patterson was at yesterday’s event and said the memorial will "pay respect to the many men and women who have given themselves so that we might live in a free country."

Patterson, a veteran who served in the Marines, added the memorial will probably have an impact on most people in the area. He said, "I think if you went around and talked to every family in the county at one time or another they’ve been touched by war." He added that although it would be impossible to fully express the appreciation to soldiers that have fought and died for this country, the memorial is a "small token of esteem" for the sacrifices soldiers have made for the county and country.

Common Pleas Court Judge Frank McCown said the memorial is significant because "we owe our freedom to the veterans, not the politicians, not the courts, not to judges, not to anybody else. Are freedom was won by the hardwork and the blood of our veterans and they deserve to be honored."

——