Two events with special meaning

By Patrick Fisher

This week has two important events that hold special meaning to many people. Wednesday was Flag Day and this Sunday is Father’s Day.

While Flag Day is now a national holiday, it started out with only a few people first observing it. Connected to the origin of the holiday are two teachers. The holiday is believed to have started in 1885 in Wisconsin, when schoolteacher B.J. Cigrand arranged for his students to observe June 14 as Flag Birthday. That date was the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes. Cigrand continued to advocate June 14 as Flag Day.

The other teacher was George Balch, a New York City kindergarten teacher. He planned ceremonies on June 14, 1889 for the children at his school. His idea was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York.

From there, groups such as the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America, the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution and others started asking people to observe Flag Day.

Eventually, in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation celebrating the anniversary of the adoption of the flag. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

When we look at the flag we have to remember it represents all of us, or as Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, said in a 1914 Flag Day address about what the flag said to him, I am what you make of me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color

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