Murphysboro to hold 7th annual Community Flag Day service
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. - Murphysboro residents and visitors will have an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of the Stars and Stripes at the Seventh Annual Community Flag Day Service on Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m. The event will be held in the historic Logan Neighborhood, located on Edith St. between South 16th and 17th streets.
This is a partnership among the City of Murphysboro and its Tourism Commission, the General John A. Logan Museum, American Legion Paul Stout Post 127, Elks Lodge 572, Patriots Bravo Co., Veterans of Foreign War Post 7190, the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce, and Murphysboro Masonic Lodge 498.
A caravan through town along flag-lined streets (courtesy of the Lions Club) will transport from the American Legion to the Logan Neighborhood a flag symbolic of those to be retired. According to Murphysboro Mayor Ron Williams, “This community service, which will incorporate patriotic music by the Crimson Express and Voices United of Southern Illinois, will remind us that the flag represents what our country stands for -- liberty, justice, equality and opportunity -- at home, on the seas, and abroad.”
Dr. Harvey Welch, Lt. Col. (U. S. Air Force Retired) will present the keynote address, My Choice Is The Red, White and Blue, and Pastor P. K. Sunny of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Murphysboro will deliver the invocation and benediction. As a retired educator, Dr. Welch said, “I’m flattered to be involved in this Service, but particularly because it educates individuals of all ages as to the proper treatment of our nation’s flag. Additionally, the Murphysboro Elks Lodge 572 Flag Team and Scouts will demonstrate a proper flag folding…with a 20’x 30’ flag.
The Logan Neighborhood, and particularly the General John A. Logan Museum, will be bustling with activity after the Service, and the Museum’s permanent exhibits and the new exhibit, “Caught In the Sweep of History: Egypt in the Civil War April 62,” which is the beginning a series of future exhibits. The Museum will be open to the public for viewing free of charge (Donations are accepted, however.)
At 11:30 p.m. and 1 p.m., local author Mike Estel of Anna, a 1962 Graduate of Murphysboro Township High School and a Vietnam-era veteran of the U. S. Navy, will hold book readings and signings in the Museum’s Gallery. Angel In The Jungle is his fourth book----the second about Vietnam----and the other two take place during the Civil War. This is the premiere of Angel In The Jungle, which was inspired by his ponderings of what happened to those many brave soldiers who “disappeared.” Estel said, “I kept wondering where those unaccounted for Military brothers are…if they’re alive, what they’re doing?” Those questions led to a fictional story about a Marine’s experiences in North Vietnam and relationship with a Vietnam girl who hides him in the Vietcong Jungle. Copies of all of his books will be routinely on sale at the Logan Museum.
Barbara Dallas, event coordinator, is asking individuals who have torn, soiled, or badly-faded flags to bring them to the service or take them in advance to the American Legion at 1700 Gartside Street or the Logan Museum, as at the conclusion of the service, worn flags will be respectfully retired. She also said interested parties will be able to buy a brick for the Historic Riverside Park Veterans Memorial Walk and/or a copy of A Weekend in Murphysboro or stroll through the Logan Neighborhood.
Cub, Boy, Girl, and Eagle Scouts and other volunteers are urged to arrive early to help with the set up and take part in the flag folding and retirement. Community members might be especially interested to watch the respectful retirement each flag receives and assist in the honor.
Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and umbrellas (sun or drizzle protection), and military personnel are invited to wear their uniforms and veterans their medals. There is no charge for admission and viewers are encouraged to arrive early to see the American Legion’s presentation of the flag representing those to be retired. The event will be held rain or shine.