Readers’ Views

Celebrating Flag Day

To the Editor:

Our national holidays are an important and traditional part of our American heritage. Flag Day, on June 14, is not one of those legal holidays, but the cause for celebration is just as great. On that day, our nation commemorates two events that are so much a part of our tradition, and so much a part of our success: the birthday of the United States Army and the birthday of the American flag. How providential that these two institutions and symbols share the same date.

Throughout our history, the Army and the flag have been constantly together. Soldiers have long protected the flag from danger and destruction. Consider the example of Cpl. Henry D. O’Brien of the Minnesota Volunteers who, during a Civil War battle, grabbed the regimental colors from the hands of a dying bearer, carried them forward until mortally wounded, and passed them on to a comrade with the comment: “They never touched the ground.” He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

At the outset of the Revolutionary War, America was a group of disorganized colonies with no Army, no flag and no recognized leader. Then, on June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress established the Continental Army. The very next day, George Washington was named the Chief Officer of the Army.

When General Washington first saw the flag of his Army, he was struck by its beauty and symbolism. The stars representing the heavens, and the colors representing virtue: red for courage and hardiness; white for purity and innocence; blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Today, a great many things are said about the flag that few people stop to analyze. The flag of the United States does not acquire its meaning through rhetorical sentences in documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Its meaning resides in the experiences of a great people and a great nation. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history. And history is created not be documents, but by the actual daily endeavors of a society striving to live up to its ideals.

On Flag Day, our tribute is not to a piece of fabric flying from a pole, but to a nation that has created the American experience.

Perhaps the remedy for all the division in our country is simpler than all the media pundits would have us believe. Wouldn’t it be something if on this June 14, all Americans recited the Pledge of Allegiance in the sanctity of that first unit of government — our homes, and before the evening meal.

Michael G. Garry


A special thanks

To the Editor:

I would like to extend a special thank you to the Fairmont community for its support of the recent blood drive. With many donors on vacation and schools on summer break, summer is a difficult time to collect blood. Thanks to the Fairmont donors who listened to our call for help. Thanks to the Sentinel and Photo Press for their help communicating the details of the blood drive.

Did you know? Patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood. American Red Cross collects nearly 14,000 blood donations each day to help ensure patients get the treatment they need.

Results of the Fairmont blood drive are as follows:

o Tuesday, June 5 — 97 units collected

o Wednesday, June 6 — 88 units collected

o Thursday, June 7 — 67 units collected

In total, 252 units were collected. There were four first-time donors.

Special thank you to all the volunteers working in the canteen and greeter areas, to the Holiday Inn/Green Mill for the fine facilities and great staff, and also to John McDonald and Kyle Redenius with Sentenced to Serve troops.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

Cathy Stapel,

account manager

American Red Cross

St. Paul

Seeking Senate seat

To the Editor:

My name is Karin Housley.

I’m a mom to four great kids, a grandma to two precious boys, a wife to Phil, a small business owner and a state senator for Chisago and Washington counties. I’m also the Republican-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate this fall, running for the seat formerly held by Al Franken.

Minnesota has always been my home — and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Growing up, my dad would continually tell me to work hard, play fair and do the right thing. Those words stuck with me as I got married, started my career and raised my family. When I ran for the state Legislature, I promised myself I’d never lose sight of my dad’s wisdom.

Here in Minnesota, we have pride in our communities. We love our neighbor, we do what’s right and we aren’t afraid to call out injustices. But too often, those Minnesota values seem to be forgotten by the “political elite” — and it comes at the expense of our rural communities.

There’s no question Greater Minnesota’s agricultural economy is a major economic driver in our state. Our state’s agricultural industry supports 430,000 jobs and contributes over $121 billion in economic activity each year. In the U.S. Senate, I will work with President Trump to make sure rural America — and your voice — is always heard.

As I travel all across our great state this summer and fall, I want to learn more about the challenges facing Minnesotans. Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or somewhere in between, I hope you’ll come out and say “hi” when I’m in your area. In a democracy, every voice matters — and that means you.

I’m running for U.S. Senate because I believe in our future. I believe in Minnesotans, I believe in the American Dream and with your support we can pass that dream along to our future generations.

I’m looking forward to meeting you on the campaign trail.

Karin Housley

Republican-endorsed candidate

for U.S. Senate