GALION — Representatives of the Galion United Lions Club and local veterans organizations staged what they hope will become an annual celebration of Flag Day in Galion.
“It is an initial, inaugural event that I hope will continue for years to come,” said Kevin Reidy, District Governor Elect OH2 13B (Savannah Lions). “The Galion United Lions club are a young club, but are certainly a club looking to serve. Certainly one of the reminders of Flag Day is the opportunity to serve. As we emerge from this worldwide pandemic, I think there is a real yearning among us out in our communities to get out and to make a difference.”
Reidy explained that when Lions Clubs was founded in 1917, the name Lions was an acronym that stood for “Liberty, Intelligence: Our Nation’s Safety.”
“Where is it more fitting than here on the Square in Galion that we celebrate Flag Day and its representation and the fantastic presentation of the American Legion and the VFW,” he added. “We’re glad to be part of this celebration of America here on this day.”
Major Mike Mateer, U.S. Army retired and commander of American Legion Post 243, served as the keynote speaker for the celebration.
“A flag is important to countries not only because it describes the authority and power of the nation, but also because it is a symbol of peace and unity of all the people inside its vicinity,” Mateer said. “Our flag, the American flag, represents the hopes, fears, ideals, dreams, and the freedoms our great country stands for. Our flag represents over 240 years of growth as a nation and as a society. Good or bad, it represents who each of us are. To many in the world, it is a beacon of hope and freedom as they come to us.”
Mateer explained why the United States flag is such a powerful symbol.
“Consider that for over 244 years, men, women, and children of our constitutional republic have elected to protect, defend, and sacrifice their life, if necessary, under a banner of three colors of cloth,” he noted. “They choose to honor simple pieces of cloth, sewn into a pattern that defines who we are, who we have been, and who we will be. When we bury those men and women who have defended us, the veterans, their remains are cloaked in these three colors of sewn cloth in honor of their service and sacrifices.”
Members of American Legion Post 243 conducted a trifold flag-folding ceremony, which was narrated by Nancy Green. She explained the meaning of the flag and its colors and what each fold of the flag represents.
The Galion AMVETS and VFW Ladies Auxiliary also participated in the celebration. The Galion Community Band performed several musical selections with member Lew Friend playing “Taps” at the end of the ceremony.
Rev. Darrin Harvey of First United Church of Christ offered the invocation and Crestline Lions Club member Clayton Herold served as master of ceremonies. Galion resident Sarah Campbell, United States of America’s Miss Ohio 2021, also participated in the event.
Patty Moorman, Crestline Lions and Region B Chairman, District 13B, encouraged people in attendance to visit the Galion United Lions Club table to get more information about the organization.