Patriotic Military Ceremony
The below Ceremony was used by The U. S. Navy at a Community Awards Day sponsored by The Veterans of Foreign Wars: Post 4809 in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 18, 2001. The Uniform for the Ceremony was Service Dress Blue.
The Commanding Officer and The Command Master Chief of The Fleet Technical Support Center, Atlantic; were the speakers for the event. Eight Sailors in a column conducted the Flag Passing Ceremony that ultimately passed a Flag to The Oldest Veteran present at the Community Awards Day Celebration.
The Flag was flown over the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor to support this event. Please feel free to use the format and content, or portions, of this Ceremony as you see fit for your own Ceremonies. Variations of this format are frequently used for Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other events and celebrations where a Patriotic Theme is desired.
The opening of the Community Awards Day Ceremony contained The Pledge of Allegiance so an opening for the Flag Passing Ceremony was not needed. Typically The Ceremony would open with our National Anthem or The Pledge of Allegiance.
4809 COMMUNITY AWARDS DAY 3-18-2001
THEME: PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
BE AN AMERICAN THEME…CO/CMC
(SOLEMN MUSIC: The Navy Hymn)
OF WARS AND CASUALTIES…CO/CMC
THE SENIOR VET AND THE FLAG PASSING DETAIL...CMC
PASSING CEREMONY TO THE SENIOR VET
(LEE GREENWOOD MUSIC)
· GOOD AFTERNOON AND WELCOME.
WE AT THE FLEET TECHNICAL SUPPORT CENTER, ATLANTIC ARE HONORED TO
BE A PART OF TODAY’S GREAT CEREMONY.
· OUR THEME TODAY IS PRIDE IN AMERICA.
· STEPHEN MOORE IN HIS BOOK “IT’S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME” TALKS ABOUT MANY OF GREAT THINGS HAPPENING AROUND US
· AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN 1900 WAS 47, TODAY IT’S 77
· INFANT MORTALITY HAS GONE FROM 1 IN 10 TO 1 IN 150
· A FARMER 100 YEARS AGO COULD PRODUCE ONLY 1/100TH OF WHAT A FARMER PRODUCES TODAY
· IN THE 1800’S, ALMOST ALL TEENAGERS TOILED IN FACTORIES OR FIELDS FULL-TIME; NOW 9 IN 10 GO TO SCHOOL
· IN 1900 THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKED 2 HOURS TO EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY A CHICKEN FOR FOOD, TODAY IT’S 20 MINUTES
WHY HAS THERE BEEN SO MUCH PROGRESS IN AMERICA? STEPHEN MOORE
OFFERS THE FOLLOWING:
American formula of individual Liberty and free enterprise has cultivated risk
taking, experimentation, innovation, and scientific exploration on a grand scale
that has never occurred anywhere before.”
· ON AVERAGE 3, 171 BUSINESSES ARE CREATED EACH BUSINESS DAY IN AMERICA WHILE 3, 060 FAIL; THAT’S A NET INCREASE OF 111 PER DAY!
· HOW DO WE HOLD ON TO THIS UNIQUE FORMULA OF INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND FREE ENTERPRISE?
· Thomas Jefferson once said: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." So the lesson is: STUDY YOUR HISTORY!
· President George W. Bush at his inauguration echoed this sentiment: "America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American."
· Why did people come here to form The American Colonies in the first place and why are they still arriving? What made these settlers give their lives during the American Revolution? Why did the People of France give the American People the Statue of Liberty? What is it about this great Nation that is found to be so attractive? In one word: Freedom. Like The American Eagle, the human spirit wants to be free.
· The United States of America is the greatest experiment known to man built around a total culture of Freedom, Equality and Self-Reliance. The American Revolution started a phenomenon of independent and self-reliant people on this planet that remains unrivaled today.
· FROM OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE I QUOTE: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
· Now we may scoff a bit at this statement because even today we struggle with issues of equality. Even our Founding Fathers had such struggles when it came to slavery and Native Americans for example. Study the history, it has been a struggle of an ideal, a principle, a value, against rationalized accepted practices thought commonplace throughout human history.
· THE INDIAN WARS RAGED IN OUR COUNTRY FOR 400 YEARS FROM ABOUT THE YEAR 1500 TO WOUNDED KNEE IN 1890. THESE WERE WARS CAUSED BY A COLLISION OF TWO PHILOSOPHIES: CIVILIZATION WHICH BELIEVED IN INDIVIDUAL OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND ON ONE HAND; AND THE NOMADIC LIFE WHERE NO ONE OWNED LAND INDIVIDUALLY BUT TRIBES STAKED OUT TERRITORIES ON THE OTHER. CASUALTY FIGURES DO NOT EXIST TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF THE SETTLERS AND INDIANS KILLED DURING THOSE 400 YEARS.
· ABOUT 275 YEARS INTO THE HOSTILITIES WITH THE NATIVE AMERICANS, SETTLERS FORMED THIS NATION WITH A PROCLAMATION NAMED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
· The world watched as our Founding Fathers debated the issues associated with forming our Federal Government. The seriousness and importance of this endeavor was recognized; in Alexander Hamilton's words in Federalist Number 1 in 1787:
"It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."
· And so we did write our Constitution and ratify it in June 1788.
· The passion Americans have felt for the principles written in our founding documents drove us to a Civil War; one of the bloodiest wars in American History. Our fundamental belief in Freedom and the Equality of People will continue to move this great Nation toward the ideals expressed in The Declaration of Independence.
· The story of Freedom in our Country must be told and retold. It must be reviewed on National Holidays and at Celebrations. Parents must tell the story of Freedom to their Children and Grandchildren. Our Schools and our Institutions must share the lessons and share the philosophy of this Great Nation.
· What were the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers:
What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured
before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army,
another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the
Revolutionary War. They signed and
they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four
were lawyers and jurists. Eleven
were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means,
well educated. But they signed the
Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured. Carter Braxton
of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by
the British Navy. He sold his home
and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move
his family almost constantly. He
served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding.
His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,
Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas
Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters. He
quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.
The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.
Their 13 children fled for their lives.
His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste.
For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to
find his wife dead and his children vanished.
A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.
These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians.
They were soft-spoken men of means and education.
They had security, but they valued liberty more.
Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged:
“For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the
protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
They gave you and me a free and independent America.
The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the
Revolutionary War. We didn’t just
fight the British. We were British
subjects at that time and we fought our own government!
Some of us take these liberties so much for granted…….We shouldn’t.
SO TAKE A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO APPRECIATE THE SACRIFICE AND HARD WORK OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS IN PUTTING TOGETHER THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS.
· THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERS BESIDES OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WHO FOUGHT TO PRESERVE THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS:
· WHAT WE HAVE TODAY REPRESENTS THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL HUMAN INTERACTION INVOLVING OUR INHABITANTS. THE OPTIONS PRESENTED TO US DAILY IN OUR LIVES ARE THE RESULT OF OUR OWN PERSONAL DECISIONS AND THE DECISIONS MADE BY ALL WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY HAVE SHAPED OUR NATION OF TODAY.
HONORABLE IN THAT MILITARY FORCES ENGAGE EACH OTHER WITH THE INDIVIDUALS IN EACH
FORCE RISKING THEIR OWN LIVES FOR THE CAUSE OF THEIR COUNTRY.
THERE IS NO GREATER SACRIFICE FOR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WAY OF LIFE THAN TO
RISK OUR LIVES FOR OUR COUNTRY AND THEN LOSE OUR LIFE. EVERY MAN WHO HAS EVER
ENTERED THE BATTLEFIELD BELIEVES HE WILL RETURN. IT IS ONLY THAT HEART AND
SPIRIT THAT DRIVES MILITARY FORCES TO VICTORY.
(Start background solemn music)
· AND NOW LET’S BRIEFLY REVIEW THE MAJOR WARS WHICH HAVE TESTED OUR NATION’S RESOLVE. MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMY, AIR FORCE, COAST GUARD, MARINES, NATIONAL GUARD AND NAVY FIGHT TO KEEP OUR NATION FREE.
[*United States War Casualties1, 2]
[*The above numbers have qualifying conditions associated with them. See references 1 and 2 below for details if needed.]
IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS WE
HAVE LOST SERVICEMEN IN THE USS COLE, THE 203RD REDHORSE SQUADRON,
AND ON A BOMBING RANGE IN KUWAIT
BOMBING RANGE IN KUWAIT:
· AND NOW TO HONOR THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED TO KEEP US FREE, WE WOULD LIKE TO HONOR ALL VETERANS WITH OUR FLAG CEREMONY, BY ASKING THE OLDEST VETERAN PRESENT _____________________ TO PLEASE COME FORWARD:
STATION THE FLAG DETAIL.
(While getting into position, read the following)
· Most of us have heard the stories of Betsy Ross and our first Flag. Congress adopted the first Flag design June 14, 1777. As States have been added so have stars. Congress formally adopts any modifications to our flag and prescribes the etiquette required for the display and handling of this great national symbol.
· THE FLAG WE ARE PRESENTING TODAY WAS FLOWN FROM THE MAST OF THE USS CONSTITUTION ON FEBRUARY 26TH OF THIS YEAR.
· THE USS CONSTITUTION IS THE OLDEST SHIP STILL IN COMMISSION IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY.
· CONSTRUCTION BEGAN IN 1794 IN EDMOND HART’S SHIPYARD IN BOSTON, JUST 18 YEARS AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
· CONSTITUTION FIRST SAW ACTION IN 1803 WHEN PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON SENT THE SHIP TO THE MEDITERRANEAN TO PROTECT AMERICAN SHIPPING FROM THE BARBARY PIRATES. CAPTAIN EDWARD PREBLE WAS IN COMMAND WHEN THE SHIP BOMBARDED TRIPOLI.
· THE SHIP AND CREWS FOUGHT IN THE WAR OF 1812, SERVED AS FLAGSHIP IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, PACIFIC AND THE HOME FRONT. THE SHIP CIRCUMNAVIGATED THE GLOBE 1844-1846 TAKING 495 DAYS AT SEA.
· IN 1878-1879 CONSTITUTION PARTICIPATED IN THE PARIS EXPOSITION
· IN THE EARLY 1900’S THE SHIP WAS PREPARED FOR SERVICE AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT AND REMAINS ONE TO THIS DAY IN BOSTON HARBOR.
AND NOW A TRIBUTE TO OUR
VETERANS AND OUR FLAG
(Start the music)
PLAY LEE GREENWOOD’S “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN”, FLAG PASSING; READ
I AM THE
FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. MY NAME IS OLD GLORY.
I FLY ATOP
OF THE WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDINGS, STAND WATCH IN AMERICA’S HALLS OF JUSTICE.
MAJESTICALLY OVER GREAT INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING.
GUARD WITH THE GREATEST MILITARY POWER IN THE WORLD. LOOK UP AND SEE ME.
I STAND FOR
PEACE, HONOR, TRUTH AND JUSTICE.
I STAND FOR
CONFIDENT, I AM ARROGANT, I AM PROUD.
WHEN I AM
FLOWN WITH MY FELLOW BANNERS MY HEAD IS A LITTLE HIGHER. MY COLORS A LITTLE
TRUER -- I BOW TO NO ONE.
RECOGNIZED ALL OVER THE WORLD. I AM WORSHIPED. IAM LOVED. I AM FAIR.
FOUGHT IN EVERY BATTLE OF EVERY WAR FOR OVER 200 YEARS.
SAN JUAN HILL, IN THE TRENCHES OF FRANCE, THE ARGONNE FOREST.
THE BEACHES OF NORMANDY, GUAM, OKINAWA, JAPAN, KOREA, VIETNAM, AND THE PERSIAN
GULF AND SCORES OF PLACES LONG FORGOTTEN, BY ALL BUT THOSE THAT WERE THERE WITH
ME …. I WAS THERE.
SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, AND MARINES. I FOLLOWED THEM AND WATCHED OVER THEM.
THEY LOVED ME.
I WAS ON A
SMALL HILL ON IWO JIMA, I WAS DIRTY, BATTLE-WORN AND TIRED BUT MY SOLDIERS
CHEERED ME, AND I WAS PROUD.
I HAVE BEEN
SOILED, BURNED, TORN AND TRAMPLED IN THE STREETS OF COUNTRIES THAT I HAVE HELPED
IT DOES NOT
HURT – FOR I AM INVINCIBLE.
I HAVE BEEN
SOILED, BURNED, TRAMPLED IN THE STREETS OF MY OWN COUNTRY – AND WHEN IT IS BY
THOSE WHOM I HAVE SERVED IN BATTLE WITH – IT HURTS.
BUT I SHALL
OVERCOME – FOR I AM STRONG! I HAVE SLIPPED THE BONDS OF EARTH FROM MY VANTAGE
POINT ON THE MOON, I STAND WATCH OVER THE UNCHARTED NEW FRONTIERS OF SPACE.
· I HAVE BEEN A SILENT WITNESS TO ALL OF AMERICA’S FINEST HOURS. BUT MY FINEST HOUR COMES WHEN I AM TORN INTO STRIPS TO BE USED AS BANDAGES FOR MY WOUNDED COMRADES ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE – WHEN I FLY AT HALF MAST TO HONOR MY SOLDIERS, MY SAILORS, MY AIRMEN AND MY MARINES, OR WHEN I LIE IN THE TREMBLING ARMS OF A GRIEVING MOTHER, AT THE GRAVE SIDE OF HER FALLEN SON OR DAUGHTER.
I AM PROUD. MY NAME IS OLD GLORY – LONG MAY I WAVE,
DEAR GOD, LONG MAY I WAVE.
(When Ceremony Complete)
READ THE CERTIFICATE FROM
(CO present Certificate after CMC reads)
· SECURE FLAG DETAIL
· WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS CEREMONY.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!
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