Spoken by Terry P. Rizzuti
As Part of a 9/11 Ceremony
September 11, 2021
At The American Legion Post 119 Estes Park, Colorado
"I am your Flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth shaped into a colorful design; I am the silent sentinel of freedom for the greatest sovereign nation on earth. I am the inspiration for which American patriots gave their lives and fortunes, I am the emblem of America. I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the Gulf Wars. I have been there though the Civil War, the War of 1812, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars, all of them. And I am here with you now. I have flown through Peace and War. Through strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all, I have always been respected. My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation; my white stripes, the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons in battle. My blue field represents God's Heaven under which I fly, and my stars, clustered together, unify the fifty states as one for God and Country. I am "Old Glory" and I proudly wave on high. Honor me, respect me, and defend me with your lives. Never let our enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy, and keep me always as a symbol of freedom, liberty, and peace in our country. When comes the time when I am old and faded, do not let me fly in disrepair, rather retire me from my duties only to replace me with a new flag so that I may continue to symbolize our country. With this, renew your commitment to what I stand for and pledge your allegiance to me one final time."