Two posts in one day but I would be remiss if I did not add my thoughts about Flag Day. Today we went to Put In Bay and had the pleasure of going to see Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. It is a pretty neat thing even if it is under restoration right now. More on that later. The coolest thing was that they were retiring two flags today and the park rangers conducted a pretty neat ceremony. They fly an English, Canadian and US flag there and it was very cool to watch them flying.
The park ranger explained to us that we should think of this retirement ceremony as a cremation of sorts. The flag should be destroyed in a dignified way when it is badly worn, torn, or faded and that the best way is by burning. The ceremony today was the retiring of a Canadian flag and a US flag.
The American flag was second and of course our national anthem was played while we all stood and respectfully watched.
Finally some of the ashes were scooped out of the flames and taken to the seawall where they were thrown over into the sea as a sign of what would have been done for sailors whose lives were lost during the Battle of Lake Erie. A reenactment with a chaplain reading some words completed the ceremony as taps played and we left in silence.
A pretty neat thing to witness today. For those of you who do not know the history of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial here is a small excerpt from Wikipedia:
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie, near Ohio‘s South Bass Island, in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry won the greatest naval battle of the War of 1812. The memorial also celebrates the lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the United States that followed the war.[citation neede
A 352 foot (107 m) monument — the world’s most massive Doric column — was constructed in Put-in-Bay, Ohio by a multi-state commission from 1912 to 1915 “to inculcate the lessons of international peace by arbitration and disarmament.” Beneath the stone floor of the monument lie the remains of three American officers and three British officers. It is among the tallest monuments in the United States (the Gateway Arch, San Jacinto Monument, and the Washington Monument are taller). Although substantially completed in 1915, funding problems prevented the proper completion of a fully realized memorial complex. In 1919 the federal government assumed control of the monument and provided additional funding. The official dedication was celebrated on July 31, 1931. In 2002, 2.4 million dollars was spent on a new visitor center. The memorial is visited by 200,000 people each year.
This is what it looks like today.