Climax holds Flag Day celebration

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Climax held the 21st annual Flag Day Celebration on Saturday with Mayor pro-tem Keith Harrison giving the welcome and recognizing the dignitaries attending.

U.S. Army Sgt. Major Retired and Rev. Lester Hayes gave the invocation and the benediction.

Col. Gary Breedlove of the BHS Jr. ROTC was the guest speaker. He complemented the City of Climax and the Climax Community Club for their many accomplishments such as the Flag Day Celebration and Swine Time. He expressed how much he and his wife enjoyed the Swine Time banquet, and said, “One reason is it’s the best food in the county!”

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He went on to explain that with the completion of the next school year at the new high school, he would have 50 years of service in uniform including his own high school ROTC service.

“What do you think about the American Flag?” he said was something not specific asked but often inferred to him. He said he was almost offended by this saying it should be evident what one thought of the American Flag. He commended Climax for having set aside a day to honor and recognize the symbol of freedom in the country.

Col. Breedlove also recognized the late Retired Lt. Col. Doyce Ariail and his family for their contribution to Flag Day in Climax and for the community involvement by the Ariail family not only in Climax but county wide.

“Always display your flags proudly and properly,” Breedlove said. He went on to say the flag should be changed when it becomes frayed or faded.

He said he felt that one of the most recognizable symbols in the world is the United State’s Flag, and its presence brings hope for freedom or puts the fear of God in tyrants. He said, the U.S. military personnel and equipment with the American Flag flying has deterred many deeds that have been planned by tyrants.

He concluded saying, “Flag Day gives us the opportunity to remind ourselves of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Freedoms that are greater and reach beyond any other in the history of mankind. We are truly blessed as Americans and we paid that price over 200 years in blood for that freedom and continue today. Our American Flag, Old Glory, The Stars and Strips is the symbol of freedom. I ask that you join me in an effort to be more knowledgeable, more diligent and respectful of our American Flag. God Bless America.”

The presentation of the new flags were made at the Climax City Hall, Parker Park, Climax City Street, Climax Volunteer Fire Dept., Climax Community Club, and Cedar Grove Cemetery, and were all presented by Ron Kirkland and sponsored by Woodman of the World.

Also, Georgia flags were presented at Climax City Hall, Parker Park, Cedar Grove Cemetery, C.V.F.D. and Climax Community Club by Georgia Representative Gene Maddox. The flags were sponsored by the Climax Golden Agers and the Climax Community Club.

Due to some problems, and subsequent repair of the Parker Park flag pole, the flags had recently been retired and new one placed. So, instead of having the usual flag retiring ceremony, Cadet Commander Tiffany Blocker, Cadet Ashlyn Strickland and Drill Team Coordinator Daren Good conducted a flag folding procedure with Col. Breedlove giving the explanation of what each fold represented. He explained that the folding stood for the same religious principals the country was originally founded on.

Katrina Douglas gave a performance singing the National Anthem. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Col. Breedlove, followed by the presentation of parade awards.

First place winner for most mriginal and most patriotic went to the Climax Golden Agers.

First place winner for most original was Paul Maloy and his golf cart.

Winning the most second place awards for most original, most spirited and most patriotic was Emily’s Personal Care Home number one and number two from Grady County.

Honorable Mention was given to Greater Mt. Calvary First Born Church youth group.

The youth minister of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Ross Duncan, brought the closing song “I’m an American Christian.”