Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ALGOP Chairman's Corner: Does It Yet Still Wave?

Dear Friend,

Think for a moment about your reaction when you see our country’s flag being slowly raised up a flagpole. Or when you see men or women in uniform stand at attention and salute, their pride in our country reflecting so brightly in their faces. Or when someone sings our National Anthem, encouraging everyone to sing along in honor of our nation.

Does your heart swell? Does your throat tighten? Do you fight back tears when you consider all that our flag stands for? The sacrifice…. the principles… the rich history… and the men and women who have laid down their lives in order to keep it flying. As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation and our flag. When I see the flag waving or hear the National Anthem being sung I’m always reminded that it was my ancestor, Major George Armistead, who raised the flag ‘so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance’ over Ft. McHenry during the war of 1812, inspiring Frances Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner. The flag shown is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

This Thursday, June 14th, many Americans will observe Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption by Congress of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. Traditionally, the entire week of June 14th is observed as National Flag Week by proclamation of the President, urging U.S. citizens to fly Old Glory for the duration of the week. If you're interested in learning more about the proper etiquette for flying and saluting the flag, I encourage you to visit the U.S. Flag Code website.

One of the great things about attending Alabama Republican Party events is the time we spend honoring our flag, our country and our brave men and women in uniform. When you think about it, the reason the Republican Party exists in the first place is to do all we can to preserve the principles of liberty that our country was founded upon, so it makes sense to remind ourselves about that at every opportunity. And what better way to do that than saluting and pledging our beautiful flag, singing the National Anthem, honoring our military and praising a merciful God who has blessed us with the privilege of living in the greatest nation in the world!

This is precisely what we’ll be doing at our Patriot’s Dinner, being held on Friday, June 22nd (only 11 days away!) at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery. Our keynote speaker, Congressman Allen West of Florida, is a retired Army Lt. Colonel and a true Patriot! He understands the sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform make every day as they serve our nation, preserving our freedoms.  We are thrilled to have such a dynamic Republican leader and public servant joining us and trust me when I tell you that you do not want to miss this event!

I’m also pleased to announce that Mr. Winston Groom, the author of the book Forrest Gump and an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, will also be a special guest at our Patriot’s Dinner. Mr. Groom recently published a biography about one of our greatest Presidents and another true American patriot, Ronald Reagan! You may not be aware of this, but Mr. Groom was raised in Alabama and is currently a resident of Point Clear. His latest book, Ronald Reagan Our 40th President, recounts President Reagan’s successful strategy for defeating Communism, rejuvenating America’s economy and restoring her confidence; and we’ll have the book available for purchase at the dinner that night.

I encourage you to fly the American Flag high this week and proudly remember that our flag represents a heritage that is second to none.I also encourage you to come be a part of the Patriot’s Dinner on Friday, June 22nd. You can call the office to get more details and purchase your tickets at 205-212-5900. Or you can purchase your tickets onlineat your convenience. If you’re interested in being a sponsor for this special night, ask to speak to Britney Garner when you call.

I’ll end with a quote from Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) that sums up how I feel about the flag of the United States of America – I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it's marked by the blood of those who died defending it.”

For the Cause,
Bill Armistead
Bill Armistead, Chairman
Alabama Republican Party