I am so proud of my husband, Lt Colonel Tony Lombardo… the following is something he wrote in honor of Flag Day ~ even though it isn’t Flag Day, I raise the flag in his honor, in honor of the selflessness of the soldiers (ARMY, NAVY, MARINES, AIR FORCE) serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and countless other locations worldwide (see note below).
|Commentary by Maj. Tony Lombardo
48th Component Maintenance Squadron commander6/10/2008 – ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — This June 14, our nation will celebrate Flag Day for the 59th time in it’s 232-year history. For many, Flag Day will pass as every other. Most will take little notice of the Stars and Stripes that gracefully flutter through the skies of our free nation, at embassies and military installations throughout the world.
August 3, 1949 President Truman signed a Congressional act designating June 14 as National Flag Day so that all Americans would be reminded to pause and take note of our flag…the American Flag.
President Truman wanted Americans to notice the stripes on the American Flag that represent the original 13 colonies… the stars that represent the states of the Union…the colors that hold meaning: red, symbolizing hardiness and valor; white, symbolizing purity and innocence; and blue, symbolizing vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Most importantly, he wanted us to notice how the American Flag stands as a symbol of strength to the weary, inspiration to the dreamer, hope to the disillusioned, pride to the patriot, courage to the warrior and a symbol of freedom to all humanity.
Will you stop and take notice June 14, Flag Day? Will you pause and ask yourself what the American Flag means to you? I asked my 11-year-old son what the Flag meant to him. He replied “the United States.” I asked what else? He said “freedom.” I asked where he learned that, he said, “doesn’t everybody know that?” At that point, I couldn’t answer. I was filled with pride and thought; what does the American Flag mean to me?
I reflected back to the day my family and I immigrated to the United States on, yes, a boat to New York. To this day, I cherish the very fiber of our Flag because it has meant opportunity, citizenship, service, pride and belief that anything was possible for an immigrant family who looked for and found kinder shores.
This Flag Day, take a moment and reflect on what our flag means to you and your family. Think of the sacrifices of those who came before us, the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make and the sacrifices future generations will make in order to keep our flag triumphantly gracing the skies of liberty and justice. I leave you with the words Secretary of the Interior, Franklin K. Lane spoke in his famous 1914 presentation where he imagined the Flag had spoken to him.
“It humbly whispered: I am no more than what you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation. My stars and my stripes are your dreams and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your hearts; for you are the makers of the flag…”
What words will the American Flag whisper to you this June 14 as our nation celebrates Flag Day?
Note: The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide.
So while the majority of the population is getting married, having babies, getting started with their careers ~ our men and women are leaving marriages, their babies, to follow their careers ~ keeping America FREE. Thank you.