We grew up a generation of people that felt a deep sense of pride about our American flag. We learned at an early age to remove our hat, and to hold our hand over our heart whenever the flag was paraded by us.
We learned that a great many people have died and are still laying down their lives to protect the freedom that Old Glory represents.
When we look upon the American flag, we see within its folds, the valor and the faith in Lexington and Gettysburg The emblazoned eyes of the embattled farmers at Concord Bridge. We see the faces of the boys whose bodies lie today along the thunder-smitten hills of France. For such a flag, true patriots will always gladly die, and for such a flag good men will nobly live.
Here, in our small village of Cassadaga we proudly display more than 200 American flags. We, the veterans of Cassadaga Memorial Post 1280 of the American Legion are proud to display the flag. In particular, we fly the American, the POW/ MIA, and the New York state flag at our Veterans Circle in our community cemetery. More than 220 veterans have chosen this cemetery as their final resting place.
It is a spectacular circle, built by veterans, Boy Scouts and other volunteers.
Recently, someone or some people have chosen to defile our circle by destroying the American flag and the POW/MIA flag poles. The ropes were cut and the flags were stolen. Understand this, you disrespectful criminals, you will not dampen our Spirit.
You have taken our flags down, but we will put more up. These flags will fly in honor of our fallen comrades.
Karl Lawson is commander of the Cassadaga Memorial Post 1280.