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Show real patriotism: Day is meaningful when we tend to the things that flag represents

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Few sights swell the hearts of Americans with pride more than that of Old Glory.

Patriots across the country this morning will commemorate Flag Day, an occasion to reflect on how we came to adopt the U.S. flag as our national symbol. It’s also a time to properly discard of flags that have become frayed.

A parade will be held at 11 a.m. today in Carthage to mark Flag Day. According to a story Wednesday in the Watertown Daily Times, the annual parade is rotated between Carthage, Lowville and Watertown as it’s hosted by each community’s Elks organization.

“The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks observes Flag Day annually. According to the organization’s manual, the order is ‘the first and only fraternal body to require formal observance’ of the holiday and has done so since 1907. The Elks is a ‘distinctively American’ organization that only American citizens may join and has no foreign affiliation,” the story reported. “According to an online history of Flag Day, the celebration began in a Wisconsin school, on a day that commemorates the adoption of the stars and stripes as the national flag in 1777. The Elks are credited with prompting President Woodrow Wilson to officially establish Flag Day. But it was not until 1949 under President Harry Truman, who was an Elk, that the day [became] a national holiday.”

Americans everywhere are encouraged to properly display U.S. flags today and dispose of ones that are tattered. Maintaining the appearance of our flag is a reflection on how much pride we have in our country.

But just as important as honoring our flag is tending to the nation it symbolizes and being actively engaged in bettering our society. Love of country is on full display when we care most for the two things that make up the United States: its people and its land. Ignoring these would make any Flag Day event a meaningless gesture.

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