Memorial Day Flag Raising Ceremony
3rd Annual Flag Raising Ceremony
Join us to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our great country.
Date: Memorial Day, Monday, May 29th 2023
Location: Fire Station
Time: 10:00 am
A few years back as I was riding through Pruitt City, on Memorial Day I noticed there were so many American flags flying everywhere. I took pride in the fact that our River Community was so patriotic. I thought to myself we should do something on this holiday to show our collective appreciation for our Military and love for our Country, and as I passed the Martinez Lake Fire Department, I realized we could do a small flag raising ceremony for those of us who wanted to participate.
I didn’t realize so many others in our community would jump on board with this idea. Fisher’s Landing bought a new flag (made in America) for this event and supported my efforts whole-heartedly! I asked my neighbor Cal Gunny Grimes if he could raise the flag & speak but he owns the Swallows Inn at San Juan Capistrano and Memorial Day Weekend is a huge work weekend for him. He then hooked me up with his friend and fellow Marine Reg Nelson who had a place on Swede’s Hill. Cal Gunny Grimes and Reg Nelson are a part of a group of Marines called the “Nights at the Round Table” and between these guys they have 236 years of service to our Country! (Thank you all for your service)
The moment I spoke to Reg Nelson, he was a wealth of information on how to properly display and raise “Old Glory” and he said he would be honored to raise the flag for the ceremony.
Inaugural Flag Raising Ceremony, we were not sure how many people would participate, but we had a crowd. Reg Nelson proudly raised our Flag, and my neighbors Mike and Jackie Hancock played the National Anthem on their boom box
We had a pretty good size crowd & watching the crowd as the flag was raised and anthem played and seeing and feeling the emotion on everyone’s face who loves our country stays with me. Hats were off, hands over the hearts, people standing at attention, no kneeling, traffic stopped (thanks to Fisher’s Landing facilities crew) and the children were participating and more importantly watching!
1st Annual Flag Raising Ceremony was held, and our guest speaker was Sarah Peters Duarte. She is a gold-star widow! Her husband Curtis Duarte was in Afghanistan and went into a building searching for ordinances. It is said he came back out but just had a feeling he was missing something. He went back in and unfortunately, tragically lost his life.
He left his 1-year-old daughter Gracie and his wife Sarah and many family members & friends grieving his loss. Sarah spoke about the loss of her husband and father of her child. She also set up a display of pictures of him and his purple ribbon as his brother holds and treasure the purple heart. (Thank you, Curtis Duarte, for your ultimate sacrifice)
After the pancakes we started our event by raising our flag. We had a Boy Scout Troop 8054 who proudly raised our flag, and the anthem was sung by Faith Escalante a young lady who has a beautiful voice and the confidence to belt that out to our crowd.
Scott Anderson from Fisher’s Landing spoke about the proper way to dispose of our American Flag and in fact our community pitched in to purchase a Flag Retirement Box to be installed at the Martinez Lake Fire Department.
One of the pictures snapped shows Berklee Letterly just 3 years old standing at attention and respecting our flag and country under the watchful eyes of her parents. Imagine that, instilling a love for our country at a young age. What more can we ask for?
So, that is how this event started and on Monday, May 29th, 2023, we will be holding our 3rd Annual Memorial Day Flag Raising. This little event has grown and is one of our favorite events each year. Just a half hour but a chance for us to show our love and support for our Country and the men and women who fight to keep us FREE!