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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Stars and Stripes*

(Author’s Note: June 14th is Flag Day in the United States. It is a special day to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress, and also to celebrate the establishment of the United States Army. But it was in 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. Although it is not a federal holiday, each state has the discretion to celebrate Flag Day every June 14, each year. Pennsylvania was the first state in the U.S. to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday on June 14, 1937. Legend has it that Betsy Ross of Philadelphia was the first to sew or make the first American flag in spring of 1776. Old Glory, Red White and Blue, The Stars and Stripes, The Star-Spangled Banner are among the names given to the American flag.)

The Stars and Stripes*

You’re everywhere---
At home, in schools,
City halls and embassies
On foreign shores;
In the White House,
In the United States Capitol,
Federal buildings and hospitals,
Tall structures and historical landmarks,
National parks and museums;
At the United Nations headquarters,
In churches and cemeteries,
In counties, cities, and states;
Up in the air,
All over the seas,
On the Moon up above…
You’re everywhere!

Here and there---
Flying so freely,
Feeling so proudly,
Standing up so firmly;
The insignia of our country,
The emblem of democracy---
The Stars and Stripes
In red, blue, and white,
A symbol of our pride,
A symbol of our hope,
A symbol of our freedom,
A symbol of our unity,
Power and beauty!

Because of you---
Thousands of lives lost,
Hundreds of battles fought…
But, in the end
Our dream came true
Our Independence and Liberty
Regained and enjoyed by all!

Today, we salute you,
We come together
To honor you,
To renew our pledge of allegiance
To only you---
The Stars and Stripes!

-Copyright 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

*Poem originally published in Sandpointer, newsletter of then Naval Station Puget Sound, Seattle, WA, on Friday, June 14, 1991, when the above author was stationed at Naval Medical Clinic Seattle, one of the tenant commands at NSPS.

*Poem was registered in the United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress, on December 23, 1997.

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