Climax marks Flag Day

Published 8:18 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The 22nd annual Climax Flag Day Celebration on June 12 began with a parade down Broad Street ending at Parker Park.

The celebration continued with Climax Mayor Charles Hadsock giving a welcome and recognizing the dignitaries.

Mayor Hadsock said the flag was the sacred symbol of the heart and soul of America, representing freedom and everything America stood for, representing all 50 states and the blood of the men and women that gave their lives in service for the country.

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He went on to give a brief count from different wars including those who gave all serving in the Middle East, those who sacrificed their life in service under the banner of the U.S. flag.

“Let’s us remember and let’s us not forget the tragic day of September 11, 2001,” Hadsock said.

He remembered the many civilians that lost their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93.

He recognized that even in the destruction of that day, three New York firefighters raised the U.S. flag in the mist of the loss and tragedy, more than ever determined to protect the freedom of the country.

Many he said do not respect the U.S. flag; they burn it, spit on it and desecrate it. He remarked that they did not understand the freedom it stands for, and that same freedom allows then to express themselves.

“Our flag symbolizes freedom, hope and the determination of the American people. By the grace of God those of us here today have been blessed to live under it, the greatest country on earth, in God we trust,” Hadsock concluded.

Remarks were made by Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin, Congressman Sanford Bishop and state Rep. Gene Maddox.

Sandra Thomas, chairperson for the program, presented new flags. Maddox donated the Georgia flags, and the U.S. Flags were donated by Woodman of the World and Bishop.

Flags were presented to the City of Climax, Parker Park, Climax Community Club, Climax Volunteer Fire Department and Cedar Grove Cemetery.

After the presentation of the new flags, Ann Ariail gave a reading of “I am the Flag.” The reading explained that the flag was only made from material, but meant so much more. Ariail explained that it stood for so much, and represented much.

“Old Glory,” she said was the nickname for the flag, and never let enemies tear the flag down from its lofty position lest it never return. “Keep alive the fires of patriotism; strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy I shall remain the voice of freedom and peace for all mankind. I am the Flag.”

The Bainbridge High School Junior ROTC retired the old flags and raised the new ones at Parker Park followed by group singing of the National Anthem.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the new flags was led by Mayor Pro-tem Bob Thomas

Parade awards were the following: Most Patriotic, BHS Junior ROTC; Most Original, Rep. Gene Maddox;, Most Spirited, Congressman Sanford Bishop, and Honorable Mention, County Commissioner Butch Mosely.

Group singing of “America The Beautiful” was led by San Sirmons.

Closing remarks were made by Thomas, as she recognized the veterans who were present, and thanked everyone for coming; she then gave special thanks to Paul and Bonnie Maloy for their help and for placing the street flags throughout the year, and to Bonnie Maloy for repairing the damaged flags.

Invocation was given by retired U.S. Army Sgt. Major Lester Hayes.

Bonnie Maloy recognized Peggy Wheeler and Gilda Harrell and thanked them for judging the parade.