Over the next few days you might notice more American flags lining the streets, displayed in front of private homes or flying in front of government buildings.
This Sunday marks a little-known and not widely celebrated New York state holiday that is easy for many to overlook. Held three weeks after Memorial Day and several weeks prior to Independence Day, Flag Day is observed on the second Sunday in June, right in the middle of the bigger celebrations in which we take pride in this country and the freedoms it offers its citizens.
The holiday commemorates the adoption of the United States flag, which happened on June 14, 1777; June 14 is also the birthday of the United States Army. National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress in August 1949. Though not a federal holiday, the week of June 14 is designated as “National Flag Week,” when U.S. citizens and government buildings are urged to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
If you’re feeling patriotic, check to see if any community groups are holding parades or other celebrations; or head to Sea Cliff for the Northwinds Symphonic Band Flag Day concert and picnic in Clifton Park, Sea Cliff, at 5 p.m., for a program of American band music, “Red, White & Brass,” which will include marches, Broadway and movie music, patriotic favorites, a vocalist and solo features by members of the band.
While the holiday doesn’t mean a long weekend, it does offer a chance to reflect on the successes of our nation, the sacrifices made by those who have fought for our freedom and the opportunities we have as a result.