June 14th is the day that The United States celebrates Flag Day. On this day in 1777 the flag was adopted, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress as the official flag of The United States, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, officially marking June 14th as National Flag Day.
The original flag, in 1777, created by Betsy Ross, bore just 13 stars and 13 stripes which represented the then 13 colonies making up the United States. Since then it has been updated and now bears 50 stars to represent the current 50 states, the original 13 stripes remained to honor the original 13 colonies. This action making the United States the only nation that has willingly altered its national flag. The colors for the flag were not accidental either, each color has a specific meaning: Red is for Hardiness and Courage; White is for Purity and innocence and Blue is for Justice and Freedom.
The commonly used nickname for the Stars and Stripes is “Old Glory”. This name originated with Capt. William Driver of Salem, MA in 1824. The full story can be found here: http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/oldglory.pdf
While Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, the President in office will usually issue a proclamation urging all US Citizens to fly the flag for the week of June 14th. All Government buildings should fly the flag this week also – although common practice is that most Government building and departments normally fly the flag anyway. On June 14th, 1937, Pennsylvania declared June 14th as an official State holiday, thus far, it is the only state that has done so.
Around the country, many local organizations have Flag Day Parades. Some of them on Flag Day itself and some during the week. The oldest Flag Day parade takes place in Appleton, WI and the largest (according to the 2010 census) takes place here in Michigan at Three Oaks.
Today is also the 238th Birthday of the United States Army. In 1775, Congress officially adopted “the American Continental Army”. Celebrate the continued strength, professionalism and bravery of our ready and resilient Soldiers in the all-volunteer force. Our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a lifelong commitment to our core values and beliefs.This 238th birthday commemorates America’s Army – Soldiers, families and civilians – who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. We also celebrate our local communities for their steadfast support of our Soldiers and families. We are “America’s Army: Service to the Nation, Strength for the Future.” (Source: http://www.army.mil/birthday/238/)
Some fun facts about the US Army:
18 Presidents have served in the US Army.
In 1946 the Women’s Army Corps were permitted to serve in the regular Army.
Being a Citizen is NOT a requirement to serve in the Army.
The first Army Medal of Honor (the highest award for a Soldier) was awarded during the American Civil War.
The Purple Heart, designated as the badge of Military Merit, was established George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on August 7, 1782.
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is the most highly decorated Army combat unit.
The Reserve Component of the Army (Guard/Reserve) is larger than the Active Army.
The US Army motto is: Duty, Honor, Country
So…..today we honor our flag for all it stands and give thanks to those that serve and defend us and our freedoms.