Military veterans and community members gathered Thursday to celebrate Flag Day and remember the sacrifices of those who had gone before to ensure the continued freedoms we enjoy today in the United States.
Scott Wilson, the Exulted Ruler of the BPOE No. 1736, told the gathering of the commitment it takes to continue to ensure the freedoms in the United States.
"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance," Wilson said.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Exulted Ruler of the BPOE 1736 Scott Wilson speaks to veterans and community members during a celebration of Flag Day. Wilson is expressing the importance of the flag and its meaning to residents.
Wilson gave a history of the flag over the years and some facts to accompany the flag's growth over the years.
During the War of 1812 when the flag held 15 stars, Francis Scott Key was inspired to pen the Star Spangled Banner.
Between 1812 and 1912, 28 stars were added with the finals two stars coming less than 60 years ago, as Alaska and Hawaii were added in January and June 1959.
Wilson said the flag represents the country and many things to many people around the world. It stands for liberty, hope and a chance, he said.
"It is a symbol of the American way of life," Wilson said.
These liberties must be "repurchased" through the military actions that have spanned from the Revolutionary War through the modern day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On June 14, 1777, the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
Flag Day is observed on June 14 of each year, after being established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 as a celebration of the adoption of the flag in 1777. Currently, only Pennsylvania recognizes Flag Day as a state holiday.
Wilson said a new respect for the flag came about from the actions of terrorists in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"Patriotism has been rekindled since Sept. 2001," Wilson said. "Let us rededicate ourselves to the flag."