Stars and Stripes honored during Flag Day ceremony at Cedar City Hospital

Major Adam Ellington addresses audience during Flag Day ceremony at Cedar City Hospital, Cedar City, Utah, June 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Cedar City Hospital hosted a flag-raising ceremony Thursday morning to honor the U.S. colors on Flag Day.

“There’s a few different colors, but this is THE colors,” said Army Major Adam Ellington, who manages the hospital’s office of patient experience.

Members of the Iron County Veterans Coalition Honor Guard hoist flag during Flag Day ceremony at Cedar City Hospital, Cedar City, Utah, June 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Ellington noted that in addition to June 14 being the anniversary of the official adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777, it also marks the 243rd birthday of the U.S. Army, which began two years earlier.

Ellington served as the emcee for Thursday’s 15-minute ceremony, which was attended by a few dozen people, including numerous hospital staffers.

Shortly after, members of the Iron County Veterans Coalition Honor Guard brought in the U.S. flag, presented it and raised it atop its pole. Hospital public relations manager Becki Bronson led the audience in singing the national anthem.

Ellington then spoke of how special the flag is to him, recounting a memory of presenting a folded flag at graveside during a fellow soldier’s funeral.

“I will never forget the words that were said during that ceremony,” he said. “On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army, and a grateful nation, I present this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

The Stars and Stripes also stands for steadfastness, even in times of turmoil, he said.

“Our country is probably more divided than it’s ever been,” Ellington said. “A good soldier isn’t political. We’re like the flag. We stay honorable and faithful to our nation, and not to a specific party. The flag has no allegiance. It’s only a symbol. It’s a representation of ideas and qualities. It’s symbolism represents the ideas that this nation was founded upon.”

Ellington said that Veterans Day is for remembering those who made it home and Memorial Day is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“And on Flag Day, we remember the flag, the symbol of our nation, and what it stands for,” Ellington said.

Justin Anthony of U.S. Sen. Mike Lee’s office speaks during Flag Day ceremony at Cedar City Hospital, Cedar City, Utah, June 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Also giving brief remarks was Justin Anthony, who works in U.S. Sen. Mike Lee’s office as a constituent affairs specialist.

“To me, the flag represents patriotism” Anthony said, as he cited two recent instances where he noticed people displaying the U.S. flag in a noteworthy way. One large banner was posted high up on a mountain ridge, leaving him wondering who put it up there and why. The other anecdote involved members of a long-distance road relay who carried a flag as they ran.

Anthony said he thanked the flag carrier as they ran alongside each other during the race, whereupon the runner simply replied “Thank you. It’s what we do.”

“That’s their way of being patriotic,” he said, adding that patriotism can be different for each individual.

Anthony said he and the other members Sen. Lee’s staff are honored to work with and offer support to both veterans and active military members. They also interview candidates applying for admission into U.S. military academies.

“Thank you to all those who serve, all those who will serve and all those who have served,” he said.

Following the ceremony, cupcakes and other refreshments were served and each participant received a miniature flag to take home.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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