By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
This was the scene at the Westminster Civic Center Thursday afternoon when the city held its 15th annual Flag Day Celebration.
Mayor Margie Rice presided over the event for the last time, as she is retiring from her post this year. “I’ll be here next year,” she said, “but not up here,” she said from the podium. “I’ll be out there,” she added, gesturing to the assembled guests.
Bookended by an invocation and a benediction, the event featured a presentation of colors by the Westminster Police Department’s Color Guard, preceded in line of march by drummer Christian Redman from the Nicholson Pipes and Drums.
After Councilman Tyler Diep led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, Rachel Proulx of the WPD sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” A moment of silence was offered for the soldiers who gave their lives in defense of that flag, and a reading of the poem “That Ragged Old Flag” was done.
Members of the Elks Lodge of Westminster presented a visual history of the flag, displaying and explaining American flags from the pre-Revolutionary Pine Tree Flag to the current 50-star banner.
Rice spoke of how the flag represented freedom and how “many men and women have paid a price for that freedom. This struggle is never-ending. Let us never forget the sacrifice they made to allow us to live in a great community, a great state and a great nation,” she said.
Flag Day is not a federal holiday. It is celebrated on June 14 in commemoration of the adoption of the first Stars and Stripes by the Continental Congress in 1777. The “birthday” of the United States Army is also celebrated on June 14.