ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI)-On June 14, 1861 some residents in Hartford, Connecticut held a ceremony which marked the first flag day celebration.
Years later many around the world are still honoring this annual event Friday.
No matter where you are from, It’s clear that the American Flag is more than a decoration. Some know it as “old Glory”, and others see it as a symbol of freedom, but the day held in honor of our flag can sometimes be left in the shadows of other National Holidays.
“Flag Day is a little overlooked I think. You get Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Those are the big ones. But flag day honors the flag itself,” says Patsy Claxton.
Flag Day is not just another holiday. It’s a way for Americans from different backgrounds to unite as one. And for some Aberdeen residents it’s also a way to remember those who have fought for us.
“Honored the people that are buried here that are a part of Aberdeen and the community this cemetery is very old. We have Civil War Veterans buried here. And they respect this flag I’m sure that most of them were born under it and have lived under it for these years. And it’s great to come to the cemetery and see our loved ones who are buried here plus look at this flag that means a lot to all of us,” says Walter Lann Jr.
The Aberdeen community gathered around the pole in Oddfellow Cemetery to see the previous flag replaced by one that once flew over the United States Capitol Building.
The flag was donated by a Aberdeen resident in honor of his brother Keri Claxton who fought in the Korean War. Claxton’s wife, Patsy says her borther-in-law wanted the flag to be part of the historical cemetery.
“When he saw how bad the condition was of the flag from the memorial day service he called and said he was going to send it to me and he wanted me to donate it to the cemetery. In honor of my husband, his brother,” says Claxton.
Long-time resident, Walter Lann Jr. Says it was humbling to see the flag placed in the cemetery of the man he once called a close friend.
“Keri and I, better known as butter bean to us who finished in 1952 and he was just a great great friend of ours which was as five or six of us that ran together and played together and fought together. It’s great. I’m honored that I can still be living and be a part of this,” says Lann.
Lann believes as Americans we should never forget the reason why we should honor our nation’s flag.
“We’re honored to be Americans. We fought for it. Still fighting for it and under God we will survive,” says Lann.
And one thing to remember when practicing flag etiquette … at night the flag should be taken down and raised the next morning.