By Isiah REYES
A ceremony at the Montrose Vietnam Memorial was held on June 14 to recognize Vito Cannella, a man who has dedicated his life to raising awareness of national Flag Week.
The commitment of Cannella led to a presidential proclamation for National Flag Week from President Lyndon Johnson in 1966.
Various speakers spoke about Cannella during the ceremony and his devotion to the city of Montrose. One of the speakers was executive director of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce Melinda Clarke.
“This event was just another opportunity to recognize Vito and what he’s done for the community and really what he’s done for our nation,” Clarke said. “The thing I like about Vito is that he loves the flag and he represents the people who fought to give the freedoms of this country.”
During the ceremony, Cannella dedicated the proclamation from the city of Glendale to communications administrator for the Montrose Shopping Park Association Steve Pierce.
“I’m shocked, I wasn’t expecting this,” Pierce said. “As a Vietnam veteran, Flag Week means everything to me. It’s an honoring of our flag and I think for many years it almost seemed like people didn’t care, but now they do.”
Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce vice-president Sebu Chatoyan said this event unites the city of Montrose and helps bring people together.
“I believe one hundred percent [that] the people living here believe in what this memorial stands for and what the flag stands for,” Chatoyan said. “This memorial is the past, the present and future.”
Cannella was awarded a plaque from Montrose Shopping Park Association Board Vice President Gigi Garcia for his outstanding commitment and dedication to the Montrose community and establishing National Flag Week
“The event was very beautiful,” Cannella said. “It’s something that I never expected.”
The week of June 14 is designated as National Flag Week. During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag is also intended to be displayed on all government buildings.