Military News

Monday, June 15, 2015

Kadena honors National Flag Day

by Senior Airman Stephen G. Eigel
18th Wing Public Affairs

6/15/2015 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Air Force Sergeants Association hosted a National Flag Day ceremony in front of the 18th Wing headquarters here at June 15.

People across the U.S. celebrate National Flag Day June 14 each year to honor the U.S. flag and to commemorate the flag's adoption by resolution of the 2nd Continental Congress on that day in 1777.

"The American flag has been the symbol of our nation's unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens," Tech. Sgt. Michael Collard, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection craftsman and emcee for the event, said. "The flag flies in the heart of every military member who has served and who is serving our great nation."

U.S. Flag Code states, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

This year, Kadena's Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts Pack 102 placed unserviceable flags into a collection barrel for proper disposal. The last flag to be placed in the collection barrel was the 18th Wing's U.S. flag, decommissioned by the Kadena Base Honor Guard June 15. The flag represents all of the flags collected that are officially retired from service today.

After the ceremony, the fire department transported the unserviceable flags to an alternate location for the final tribute to the flags to be made.

"There is a distinguishing feature on the tail of all of our jets -- that's the American flag," said Col. Christopher Amrhein, 18th Wing vice commander. "When I was a young captain, I always thought yes, that represents the United States of America wherever we go; then one day I had a senior mentor pull me aside and say 'captain that doesn't represent the United States of America -- that is the United States of America.'"

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

However, National Flag Day is not an official federal holiday; it is at the president's discretion to officially proclaim the observance.

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