SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Throughout western Massachusetts and all across our nation, America is observing Flag Day this Sunday.
Flag day, when we pause to honor the stars and stripes has been an uninterrupted tradition since 1885, when a small town Wisconsin school teacher began the formal observance of what the second continental Congress had decreed more than 100 years earlier.
Springfield’s Veteran Services Director Tom Belton has a deep, abiding affection for the flag whose meaning so many Americans died to preserve over the years.
“Flag Day is a special day for me, as well as well as for other veterans who have served abroad, as well as the veterans who were stateside,” he told 22News.
Belton recalls, “June 14th, 1777, was the day they adopted the flag for America but in addition to that, it was also the birthday of the United States Army.”
And on Flag Day, certain protocols surrounding old glory bear repeating. Tradition has it that when raising the flag it’s to be done briskly, and lowering the stars and stripes to be accomplished ceremoniously.