By Jim Tortolano
The Star-Spangled Banner definitely yet waves over Westminster, as the city held its annual Flag Day Ceremony in the Civic Center on Wednesday. With music, poetry and history, city and community leaders celebrated the importance and heritage of Old Glory.
Mayor Tri Ta serves as master of ceremonies, and welcomed those in attendance with some remarks.
“The struggle for freedom is never-ending,” he said. “More than ever we must not forget the price that so many have paid to make it possible for us to live in a great community in the greatest country in the world.”
Instrumental music was provided by the Warner Middle School band, and vocalist Shaun Miller sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.”
Councilwoman Margie Rice led the crowd in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance, and Councilman Sergio Contreras read “That Ragged Old Flag,” a poem penned by country music legend Johnny Cash about the trial and triumphs of the Stars and Stripes.
The Elks Lodge of Westminster presented a colorful history of the American flag from the Pine Tree banner of the pre-Revolutionary period to today’s 50-star version. Malcolm Willis of the Nicholson Pipes and Drums played a bagpipe to accompany the presentation of colors by the Westminster Police Department.
The invocation was made by Pastor Rosie Wilkins of the Greater Grace Church of Deliverance and the benediction by Father Tuyen Van Nguyen of the Blessed Sacrament parish.
Flag Day is celebrated each June 14 because it was on June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress adopted the flag design on which today’s banner is based.