As we enter the "summer months", the school year comes to an end and we celebrate graduations and look toward the start of what is known to many as the "wedding and vacation season". In the midst of the warm weather and sunny days, we have an opportunity to take time for personal reflection and appreciation for all that we have to be grateful for.
From a patriotic and historical standpoint, we celebrated Flag Day on June 14, 2014. The American Flag stands for honor and carries with it many traditions for how the Flag should be displayed and cared for. The Flag should never touch the ground when being taken down, and should be folded neatly and stored ceremoniously. You should fly the American Flag only between sunrise and sunset, or if left hanging after sunset it should be illuminated. Worn out flags should be "retired" in a formal ceremony, which traditionally is done by the Boy/Girl Scouts or the American Legion. On June 14, 1777, the Flag Resolution was signed, making the current stars and stripes the National Flag of the Unite States. On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson institute a nation-wide observance of Flag Day; however it wasn't until 1949, when President Harry S. Truman signed a decree making June 14th National Flag Day.
The Month of July starts with Independence Day celebrations commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Statute of Liberty is a symbol of America's freedom as well and was given to the United States by France in 1886.
As we enjoy the summer months, let's join together to celebrate International Friendship Day on August 3, 2014. International Friendship Day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2011 for the purpose of fostering friendships and bridging the gaps between race, color, religion and other factors. The International Day of Friendship is an opportunity to identify conflicts in today's world and rebuild/establish friendships. "It is a reminder that human solidarity is essential to promoting lasting peace and fostering sustainable development". – UN Secretary – General Ban-Ki Moon, 2013.
So no matter your faith or beliefs, there is something for you to celebrate during the coming months as we enjoy picnics, family vacations, warm weather and longer days.
Blessings for a safe and enjoyable Summer.
Stuart E. Rosenberg