02 July 2010

Happy 4th of July - A Little Challenge

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend -- we're celebrating Independence Day here in the U.S. It's a great time to feel pride in your nation and think about what kind of citizen you are and what you are contributing to this great country to ensure it continues to be great.

I never appreciated so much this country, the flag or the national anthem as the day after I returned from spending 16 months in Europe. Hearing a football stadium full of Americans singing the national anthem reduced me to tears and I still get teary-eyed every time I sing it in a large crowd.

Can I challenge you to learn a little more about the flag and the respect and honor we ought to show when the anthem is played and the flag paraded. Here's a bit of a reminder from USflag.org.

The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

See the US flag site to learn more about all the etiquette associated with displaying the flag, caring for the flag and much more. It's a great reminder every once in a while.

I'll hope you'll pause, put your hand over your heart and join me in singing the national anthem this Fourth of July with due respect and heartfelt thanks. Then enjoy the family, food and fireworks!

photos via

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