Monday, June 16 was a brilliantly sunshiny day when Peggy Hawse, the Regional Coordinator for U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, came to Parsons in honor of Flag Day to present the veterans of Tucker County at the Veteran’s Memorial Wall with a flag that actually flew over our nation’s Capital.
The flag had been folded, in preparation to being brought to Tucker County, by Senator Manchin’s West Virginia Chief of Staff, Major Mara Boggs, a retired army officer.
Hawse spoke briefly, telling the assembly that when Senator Manchin wanted her to make a presentation for Flag Day she knew right away she wanted to come to Tucker County because of the warm reception she has received on previous occasions. She presented Mayor Judy with a certificate that read: “This is to certify that the accompanying flag was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of Senator Joe Manchin III. This flag was flown in honor of the Veterans Memorial Wall in Parsons.”
Hawse then read Senator Manchin’s greetings as follows: “On behalf of the citizens of the Mountain State, and as your United States senator, it is my privilege to extend greetings to those who are in attendance today for this special flag presentation to the Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Parsons, WV.
Today, we gather to honor our nation’s Flag Day. We set aside every June 14th as Flag Day, commemorating the date in 1777 when the Continental Congress officially made the Stars and Stripes the symbol of America.
In doing so, we honor not only our flag, but also the ideals on which America was founded, as well as the generations of Americans who have defended those ideals in battle, always ensuring at the end of the fight “our flag was still there.” The Star Spangled Banner is a symbol of their sacrifice and our faith.”
Senator Manchin went on to write, “There is a poem I learned as a child from my Uncle Jimmy that truly captures how I feel about the American flag even now.
It’s only some stripes of red and white.
It’s only some stars on a field of blue.
It’s only a little cotton flag.
Does it mean anything to you?
Oh yes it does,
For beneath its folds
Our people are safe at land and sea.
It stands for a land where God is still king,
And His truth and His freedoms are free.
So let us love it well
And keep it pure as our banner of liberty.
This “little cotton flag” is displayed proudly in our homes, in our schools, in parades and ballparks, on the field of battle and on the graves of our heroes. It has flown from the tops of mountains, from the rubble of Ground Zero, and from the surface of the moon.”
Senator Manchin’s letter continued, “I join you today and every other day to pay tribute to the symbol of freedom and the symbol of liberty. Put simply, the symbol of America. God bless you; God bless West Virginia and may He continue to bless the United States of America. With warmest regards, Joe Manchin, United States Senator.”
Those in attendance were veterans Fred Myers, Charlie Showalter, Bob Poling, Glen Poling, Roger Murphy, Robert Ludwig, Daniel Barkley and Bob Phillips. All three County Commissioners, Diane Hinkle, Lowell Moore and Mike Rosenau were at the presentation as well as Mayor Dorothy Judy, Carol Hebb, Vicky Mason, Dotty Murphy, Bernice Hymes, Jane Parsons, and Parsons Police Chief W. D. Rowe.
The veterans carefully removed and fold the old flag and then carefully attached and rose the new flag.