FOUR CORNERS – For anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, it’s always been an inspiring, patriotic and moving day, one that serves as a reminder of why they initially joined the military.
Flag Day is celebrated across the United States on June 14, to commemorate the adoption of the flag by this nation, and to reinforce the notion that the flag has come to represent the freedoms that America holds dear.
An attraction on U.S. 192 in Osceola County, a museum that celebrates and records the history of the Armed Forces and the veterans who served this nation in defense of freedom, will hold a special ceremony on Thursday in recognition of Flag Day, as an opportunity to demonstrate patriotism, while honoring the ‘stars and stripes’ or ‘old glory.’
The Museum of Military History, located at 5210 W. 192, is offering to properly dispose of anyone’s worn out flags by holding a flag retirement ceremony on Thursday, June 14, at 6 p.m.
Local residents can drop their flags off during the museum’s regular operating hours, which are Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a proper retirement prior to the ceremony.
The museum’s staff is also encouraging community members to fly the U.S. flag at their home and business as a way to honor the flag’s place in this nation’s history, as well as demonstrating pride in what it represents.
“If you discover that the flag in your possession is tattered, torn and its best days are behind it, museum staff reminds everyone there is a proper way to ‘retire’ your flag,” said Rob Dent, the museum’s marketing director.
The Museum of Military History, Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed to educate, increase awareness, build knowledge and understanding of the American military experience through interactive, interpretive exhibits designed for visitors of all ages.
Originally housed in a much smaller office at the Osceola Square Mall, the museum’s collection of military memorabilia grew so rapidly that the organizers quickly ran out of space. The board of directors was forced to look for a larger building, and found it in their current location on U.S. 192, a tourist-friendly highway.
Fred Moisson, the museum’s collections coordinator, said business there has been steady since they opened their doors in late March.
“We’ve been doing pretty well,” he said. “Saturday mornings are the most popular day for us.”
The museum’s role in educating the public, he said, just got a boost when the museum brought on several ROTC students from nearby Celebration High School to serve as volunteers there.
The cadets, Moisson said will be helping to organize the museum’s library, and working with visitors who want a tour of the facility.
“We try to get as involved with the community as much as possible, and with these youngsters we have volunteering with us, we’re trying to bring them into the loop as well,” Moisson said. “I want them to spend some time learning what the military is like.”
A special ceremony on Flag Day, he added, “is perfect for us.”
After the ceremony, food and refreshments will be provided by Kesselbeck Ford of St. Cloud. The public is welcome to attend this special event.
The flag of the United States was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The practice of displaying the flag was common across the United States for decades prior to its formal designation by the federal government. The official designation came in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation to establish June 14 as Flag Day.
Decades later, in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by Congress.
The Museum of Military History offers guided or self-guided tours. Admission ranges from $7 for adults, with discounts for seniors, students and veterans. To learn more, call 407-507-3894.
The museum operates under the umbrella of the Osceola Veterans Tribute and Museum.
Donations, memberships and sponsorships are welcomed to help support the museum.
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