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Residents observe Flag Day at Sherman Thompson Towers

It was the day Old Glory was at the center of attention.

Across the country, Americans celebrated Flag Day Friday. Locally, members of the Ironton Elks Lodge #177 gathered with

residents of Sherman Thompson Towers for a Flag Day service. Members from the VFW Post #8850 provided the Color Guard.

"It’s our highest principle as an Elk," Elks Exalted Ruler Chris Crabtree said of Flag Day. "To be an Elk is to be an American."

The keynote speaker for the event was Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Jeremy Smith, a Vietnam veteran who logged 2,000 combat hours in his 27 years of military service. Smith read the poem "Old Glory."

"I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice," Smith read. "I stand for freedom."

Betty Delong was one of the Sherman Thompson Towers residents who attended the Flag Day service.

"I’ve watched it every year since I’ve lived here, and I’ve lived here 16 years," Delong said.

Asked what the American flag meant to her, Delong replied "It means everything to me. I came here from Germany."

Mary Ann Smith of Franklin Furnace also attended the service. She said Flag Day meant something special to her, as well.

"It means the veterans who sacrificed everything so we could have our American Flag fly proudly," Smith said. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune