Programs ~ Patriotism & Citizenship

Our Blue Star program has become increasingly important as part of the Mercer Island Summer Celebration ceremonies each July. The Blue Star is an official banner that family members of active duty servicemen and women can display at home in their windows during time of war. The Blue Star is reported to have originated during World War I when a retired Army Captain and Ohio father designed and displayed the banner in honor of his two sons serving in Europe. A September 24, 1917 reference to the Blue Star was noted in the U. S. Congressional record:

“The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother — their children.”

VFW Post 5760 provides Blue Star banners to parents and family members of active duty servicemen and women. Following the Summer Celebration parade, post members assemble and present the banners to Mercer Island parents whose sons and daughters are serving their Nation. For more on Blue Star and the congressionally chartered Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. visit www.bluestarmothers.org.

 

Our Flag Nation program is something old for something new. Several VFW members have for years provided classes on flag etiquette and history, often times on request from schools or scouting organizations. Our Flag Nation program expands that traditional approach to the community by including a full range of flag related services to include a Color Guard for community, school, and special events; Flag Detail for raising, half-mast, and burial ceremonies; Flag Recovery for members of the community to return worn, damaged, torn, or faded flags to the VFW for proper disposal; Flag Retirement for ceremonial retiring of such flags with youth, sports, or scouting group participation, and; Flag Day activities during June each year celebrating the unique history of Old Glory along with a children’s patriotic art contest held at the Keewaydin Clubhouse. For more on American history in general and the United States flag specifically, visit www.ushistory.org. And, for more on this year’s new Flags of Freedom art contest for children grades 1-6 to be hosted by VFW Post 5760, visit www.flagsacrossthenation.org.

 

Veterans Remember is a new program that has been conducted informally in the past. Many of our members have been asked to speak to school children, youth groups, sports teams, college students, researchers, civic organizations, small businesses, the media, and authors; sharing their wartime and military experiences for the benefit or others. The National VFW encourages members to speak openly with the public on reminiscences of their service as part of an emergent Oral History movement amongst veterans.

Veterans traditionally have unique and lasting insights into a broad range of leadership, technology, and management related areas. Post members will invariably share a wealth of additional experience following their military service in such professions as medicine, business, aviation, construction, manufacturing, government service and more. In the classroom, veterans bring that sense of reality to subjects such as history, geography, math, and the sciences; capturing students’ interest and generating genuine excitement.

Yet, most people want to listen to and think about our veterans’ unique experiences. During our upcoming Open House this spring, several Veterans Remember forums are planned at the Keewaydin Clubhouse, during which our members will share their backgrounds, stories, and opinions on war as they knew it: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the ongoing War on Terror. Oral History moments like these are hard to come by; visit VFW Post 5760 or invite a veteran to your organization and learn more today.

 

Navy & Marine Corps Medal"I have not yet begun to fight!" - John Paul Jones