I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory. I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings. I stand watch in America’s halls of justice. I fly majestically over great institutions of learning. I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world. Look up and see me!
I stand for peace – honor – truth and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident – I am resolved – I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher – my colors a little truer.
I am recognized all over the world. I am respected – I am loved and I am feared! And when attacked, my goal is victory.
I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years: Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, in the Persian Gulf and a score of places long forgotten, by all but those who were there with me … I was there!
I led my soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. I followed them and watched over them. They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima, I was dirty, battle worn and tired. But my soldiers cheered me! And I was proud!
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on in the streets of countries I have helped set free, but it does not hurt – for at least and at last, they are free!
I have flown over the rubble in New York City after a dastardly attack on America and the free world, where thousands of my citizens and other nations’ citizens perished – and that does hurt. And my miracle men and women of the armed forces who are fighting to free
But I shall overcome – for I am stronger than the terrorists cowards and dictators who have now sealed their own fate- defeat! And this nation will not remain incapacitated by the forces of nature. Mark my word – we will not fail.
I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours and I now long to see us united as never before, but my finest hour comes when I am torn in strips to be used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle. When I fly at half-mast to honor my soldiers, my sailors, my airmen, my marines, firemen and policemen and medical workers, and when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son.
America, I am proud to be your flag and your banner for freedom. My name is “Old Glory”. Long may I wave. Dear god, long may I wave!
As presented by: Colonel J. Quincy Collins, Jr., USAF (Ret.)