On June 14, 2017, more than 300 people gathered together at our Home Office Building in San Antonio to help us celebrate the 240th birthday of the American Flag. This event, hosted every year by us for the last 25 years, is free to the public. It kicked off Wednesday evening with a Mass on the grounds celebrated by Father Larry Christian, the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and concelebrated by Msgr. Frank Kurzaj. The Mass is always a wonderful way to bring all of our attendees together in faith and celebrate our religious freedoms.
Following Mass, everyone gathered on our outdoor pavilion to witness a moving tribute and an “old-fashioned Flag Raising.” During the tribute, President/CEO J. Michael Belz gave a rich history of our Flag and of many of our country’s most sacred patriotic traditions. He gave special recognition to our 2017 “Flag Day Children’s Poster Contest” winners in attendance. Click here to check out our creative winning poster contest entries.
Soledad Surbaugh from Girl Scouts Troop #3028 was also recognized for winning our 2017 “Flag Day Girl Scouts Patch Design Contest.” Each year, we invite the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas to participate, and the winning entry is adopted to create a commemorative patch for our annual Flag Day Celebration. Soledad’s patch design, artfully celebrating the Flag with a nighttime fireworks display, inspired our 2017 commemorative patch, which was distributed to attendees during our event.
There was a grand brass band playing patriotic music throughout the event. Morgan Teel, a recent graduate from Reagan High School and all-state choir member, gave a beautiful a capella rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” as several volunteers worked together to raise our impressive U.S. Flag to the top of our 120-ft. Flag pole. To conclude the Flag tribute, all of the children were invited to lead the attendees in reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Then, everyone enjoyed a delicious picnic of hot dogs and ice cream. There was also a balloon artist and face painter providing entertainment for all of the children, and free commemorative t-shirts.
If you think this event sounds like a great time, we invite you to join us next year for our 26th annual “Flag Day Celebration” in 2018. We hope to see you there!