Common Sense: We shall never forget

The Brooklyn Conservative Party will be holding its annual POW/MIA flag ceremony on Memorial Day, May 27, at Lookout Point at Shore Road and 81st Street at 10 a.m. The Conservative Party has been conducting these ceremonies for over 25 years. In recent years, the Boy Scout Troop at St. Anselm Church has joined the Conservative Party as co-sponsors.

There are still 1,648 American servicemembers unaccounted from the Vietnam War. Each year, a few remains are identified after a painstaking process that often takes many months. Efforts to keep pressure on the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian governments are key to insuring every effort is made to return these servicemembers to American soil and to their families.

The POW/MIA flag — which shows servicemembers against a prisoner of war camp background with the words “You Are Not Forgotten” — has become an important symbol in our nation’s efforts to keep public focus on this important issue.

For a number of years, due in great part to the efforts of Councilmember James Oddo, the City Parks Department has been required to fly the POW/MIA flag alongside the U.S., state and city flags.

Join us on Shore Road as we demonstrate our concern and then join with the Conservative Party as we march along Third Avenue in the Memorial Day Parade, which happens to be the oldest in the nation.

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If you have not already, Memorial Day is the perfect day to bring your American flag out of winter storage. The communities of southwest Brooklyn have a proud history of showing their patriotism with blocks upon blocks flying the Stars and Stripes from house to house.

One of the best examples is 74th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, which for many years has kept this tradition alive.

Fly the flag this Memorial Day and every day after while the weather is good.

If you would like information on the proper way to fly and dispose of a worn flag, contact State Senator Marty Golden’s office at 718-238-6044 for a pamphlet.

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Memorial Day should be more than a cook-out and a day off. Together with the Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day, it is a day on which we thank those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country and, for that matter, many parts of the world free.

Make plans, especially if you have children, to celebrate by attending a parade or one of the many ceremonies that will be occurring like the POW/MIA flag ceremony. For children in particular, Memorial Day can be a day brought to life with stories of courage and patriotism for the American cause.

I very much remember my father and uncles telling my brother and me stories of their exploits in World War II and Korea. Although I now know that they embellished a bit (a nice way of putting it), I always looked forward to the patriotic holidays and the stories that would be told.

The Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade — which has been run continuously since shortly after the Civil War and kicks off at 87th Street and Third Avenue at 11 a.m., concluding at Cannonball Park, is a good local opportunity.

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