The June 14 celebration of Flag Day marked the 144th birthday of the American flag. It was on that date in 1777 that the stars and stripes were adopted as our national flag by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
Since there was no Flag Day parade in New York City this year, we joined the commemoration and concert held at the Crespino-Russo American Legion Post #1544 in Staten Island.
The event included participation by the NYFD and the Patriot Brass Ensemble in concert. It started with the elite FDNY Ceremonial Color Guard presenting the colors, 6-year-old Melina Covino leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and the ensemble performing the national anthem. Rev. Michael Martine, pastor of Holy Rosary Church and chaplain for the Sons of the American Legion, gave the invocation.Gary Gatens of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks Lodge #841 gave remarks discussing the history and significance of Flag Day. The ensemble played “Taps” and then went into concert mode, playing John Phillip Sousa marches, a medley of Armed Forces songs, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” “God Bless the USA” and an uplifting rendition of George M. Cohan’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”