Daily photo by Emily Saunders|
Col. John A. Olshefski speaks at Athens State University's annual Flag Day ceremony sponsored by the Athens State Alumni Association on Thursday.
Athens State honors Old Glory
By Holly Hollman
email@example.com · 340-2445
ATHENS — Col. John A. Olshefski might have been a guest speaker in Athens on Thursday, but Old Glory was the main attraction.
Old Glory graced buttons, a little girl's dress, the stage and the movie screen at Athens State University.
The school's Alumni Association honored Old Glory for its annual Flag Day celebration.
Olshefski, the U.S. Army Commander at Redstone Arsenal, acquiesced to the flag's popularity during his speech and read a poem called, "My Name is Old Glory."
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country, and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle, it hurts. But I shall overcome, for I am strong.
As the Athens State University Community Band performed patriotic tunes, a montage of photos on the movie screen showed Old Glory hanging on barn walls, flying from porches, making an appearance at a rodeo and being immortalized at the Iwo Jima memorial.
"What does right look like?" Olshefski asked. "This is what right looks like, what you are doing here (Thursday)."
Olshefski thanked the veterans and taxpayers present for the celebration, and asked spectators to remember those who are fighting the war on terrorism.
"The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are at war while our nation is at the mall," Olshefski said.
In the poem he read, Old Glory does its part to remember those in service.
But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle;
When I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers;
And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son.
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