Leonardtown, MD — St. Mary’s County shows its patriotism in many ways, especially at annual events such as for Memorial Day, July 4 and Veteran’s Day. Flag Day in another such occasion. The 30th annual event was held June 14 at the Governmental Center in Leonardtown. This year’s ceremony was shorter than usual and held at an earlier time, 4:30 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m.

With a backdrop of a huge American flag unfurled between the hook and ladder trucks of the Leonardtown and Bay District volunteer fire departments, public officials and their representatives participated in the formal ceremony in which they talked about the meaning of the flag to them.

Governor Larry Hogan’s representative Dana Henderson of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs poignantly noted that her son was born on September 11, 2001. She said he asked her why he was born on such a sad day. Henderson said she told her son it was also a day that pulled the country together.
Henderson said as a woman and wife of a veteran the flag tells her every day that she is where she is because of the sacrifices of others.

Delegate Deb Rey said, “I get goosebumps sometimes when I see the flag.” She said it reminds her we have “the greatest country, the greatest republic and the most charitable country on the face of the earth.”

In his benediction Rev. Charles Gallagher of Our Lady of the Wayside Church asked everyone to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, FL.
The various speakers related some of the history of Flag Day, which included adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777; a proclamation issued by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and the establishment of Flag Day by Act of Congress in 1949.

Other speakers included Commissioners’ President Randy Guy, who MC’d the event, Rachel Jones on behalf of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Leonardtown Mayor Dan Burris and Del. Matt Morgan.

The Father Andrew White Rhythm Rejoices performed patriotic songs before the beginning of the official ceremony.

Colors were posted by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard, joined by Father Andrew White Assembly #377 of Knights of Columbus, Great Mills High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy Color Guard, Maryland State: Police Color Guard and Naval Air Station Patuxent River Color Guard.

A POW/MIA flag was posted by a representative of ABATE.

The event is sponsored every year by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, and the Mayor and Town Council of Leonardtown.

Food was provided after the ceremony by the Seventh District Optimist Club.

Please enjoy the attached Photo Gallery by The BayNet’s Photojournalist Ron Bailey.

Contact Dick Myers at dick.myers@thebaynet.com