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NEWS | June 15, 2016

Chicago community moves forward with Flag Day

By Sgt. Aaron Berogan 85th Support Command

Buffalo Grove, Ill. – In the wake of the Orlando shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, one village in the United States is doing all it can to move forward.

The community of Buffalo Grove, Illinois refused to let fear and hatred keep them from commemorating Flag Day.

“The American culture tends to push on and continue, in light of those events, to prove that stuff like that is not going to slow us down,” said Army Reserve Lt. Col. Priscilla Van Zanten, Equal Opportunity Advisor to the General, Great Lakes Training Division, 75th Training Command. “Stuff like that (Orlando shooting) isn’t going to change our way of life.”

Prayers were offered for those affected by the shooting along with a moment of silence.

According to Van Zanten, who serves in her civilian capacity as the equal opportunity officer at the 85th Support Command, stated that this event not only commemorates Flag Day, but also falls on the Army’s 241st birthday, and her wedding anniversary. 

Following her speech Van Zanten read the poem “I Am The Flag” during a flag folding ceremony that typically accompanies a military retirement ceremony or funeral. Two members assigned to the Army Reserve’s 85th Support Command, based in Arlington Heights, folded the American flag into its tricorn shape, Maj. Erna Faber and Capt. Jason Smigelski.

Smigelski, with the help of Jacob Hammon from Troop 79, Boy Scouts of America, hoisted the US Army flag high over the park.

“It was interesting to come out and see all the flags being raised and learn about the flags,” explained Hammon’s brother Michael Hammon, Troop 79, Boy Scouts of America.

In addition to the Army representation was Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nicholas Schultz, Recruiting Station Chicago, Recruiting Substation Mount Prospect.

As each service flag was raised that respective branch’s service song was played, and with more than a hundred people in attendance not a lyric was missed as the audience joined in singing the songs from each branch.