LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Honoring Flag Day, Flag Week and the U.S. Army

As we enter the month of June, I would like to remind our community of several days this month when we should display our national flag.

June 14 is Flag Day and it is also the anniversary of the founding of the United States Army. Additionally, the week that contains Flag Day is Flag Week. Flag Week was established by efforts of the members of the Crescenta-Cañada Rotary Club.  Members of the Club took it upon themselves to collect signatures on a petition to present to Congress to declare Flag Week. Needed were 4,400 registered voters’ signatures. This was no small task for the Rotary Club. Spearheading the signature collecting were prominent community members Vito Cannella, Donald T. Carpenter and other Rotarians.

Let us proudly display our nation’s flag the entire week of June 14 to June 21.

This is threefold: to mark the founding of our Army, recognition of Flag Day and honor of the Montrose-La Crescenta pioneers for their efforts to establish Flag Week.

Joe Kroening

La Crescenta

 

 

It All Started in Montrose

The Congress of the United States, by Joint Resolution on June 9, 1966, approved H.J. Resolution 763 proclaiming the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week, and the same Resolution requested that the President is to issue every year a proclamation and also to call upon citizens of the United States to display the flag during this week. 

The origin of Flag Week is very special because it originated in Montrose through the hard work of Bill Bailey, Don Carpenter, Congressman H. Allen Smith, the Crescenta-Cañada Rotary Club and my father, Vito Cannella, back in the ’60s. Nurtured by their love of country and gratitude for those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s symbol, the American flag, this group had a desire to contribute something positive to the fabric of our country during the difficult Vietnam War-era. They dreamed of a national movement to convince Congress and the President to join them in their love for the flag. From humble origins and the small town efforts of our community, they collected thousands upon thousands of signatures across our state, this dream got the attention of the United States Congress and passed in a joint session and was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. So for the last 54 years we ask the citizens of our nation to give recognition and respect for our flag by asking that we honor our flag more than just one day on the national calendar (June 14), but put aside a whole week to honor the flag and ask that all citizens fly our flag for that week.

This cause was very important to my dad. Every year since 1967 he would write each President reminding them of their duty to issue the proclamation and every year he got a response from the White House indicating that they would.

My father has passed and one of the things we talked about prior to his death was his wish that the story of Flag Week not be forgotten as he was the last of the originating supporters. I promised him I would carry his message reminding our community of its history and connection to our hometown. I wrote that letter to President Trump and will remind all of you to fly your flag the week of June 14. That is the purpose of my letter today. 

God Bless America and watch over her, especially this year.

Grace Chase

Montrose