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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – The Memorial Day holiday is one that has, for many, been filled with mixed feelings. It is so much more than just a long weekend, filled with cookouts and beach days. It is more than just the harbinger of summer. Rather it’s a time to truly step back and remember the thousands of brave men and women who have served, and who continue to serve our nation, each and every day, and keep us safe.
In the spirit of the day, I wanted to reprint one of my favorite poems.
It is simply called “I am the Flag.”
I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world. Look up and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice. I stand for freedom.
I am confident. I am arrogant. I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one! I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped – I am saluted. I am loved – I am revered. I am respected – and I am feared.
I have fought in every battle of every war for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox. I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy, Guam. Okinawa, Korea and Vietnam.
I was there. I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me And I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country. And when it’s by those whom I’ve served in battle-it hurts. But I shall overcome – for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America’s finest hours. But my finest hours are yet to come. When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier, Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, I am proud. MY NAME IS OLD GLORY LONG MAY I WAVE.