Veterans Day 2017: Raise The Flag

Always have I counted it an esteem honor to speak to our former military members and veterans. Today I had the chance to speak at the Dale High School Veterans Day Assembly and it was a privilege to see so many students show up to say “Thank You” to our heroes. My message today was brief, but simple: “We owe it to all our servicemen and women to raise the flag of freedom in our own lives. We do that by never forgetting the sacrifices our veterans have made, never forgetting to say thank you for their efforts, and never taking for granted the opportunities we’ve been afforded as Americans. These things will reignite our pride in being an American and make us appreciate even more when we raise that flag.”

After I concluding my keynote, I journeyed back home to find my American flags I had put up outside had been blown over this morning by the wind. It isn’t the first time it’s happened. But I found it ironic that within the day’s time I was literally doing what I had spoken in the morning. I was raising both flags back up and positioning them firmly so that they wouldn’t get blown away again.

As I raised those flags, I thought of everything our banner had been through. From the hands of Betsy Ross it was first woven. In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key was inspired by it as he wrote The Star Spangled Banner. It has flown through battles in The Civil War, WWI, WW2, Korean, Vietnam, and even more global combats. It has flown through triumph and tragedy, on vessels, on planes, and even in our local communities. Just like the wind, many have tried and will try to bring down the flag in our nation. But try as they may, our flag will always stand for something greater.

Some may think I’m passionate about the flag, but I’m more passionate about what that flag stands for. The flag stands for freedom fought for, died for, and sacrificed for by our heroes: our Veterans. We cannot thank them enough for their service, dedication, and efforts to make this nation what it is today. Everyday we should be honoring our Veterans.

After putting up both flags, I stood back and took it all in. I was about to head back into the house when all of a sudden, a boy coming home from school on a bicycle rode by the house, proudly waving his American Flag as he headed home. It was a fitting scene for this special day. It gave me hope that my generation won’t be the last one to take pride in this country and my wish is that we as a people will never forget our patriotism and what this country is all about.

With that being said, this weekend I encourage you to say, “thank you” to at least 1 Veteran. Additionally, I encourage you to not only raise your American Flag this weekend, but to symbolically live it out. Show others what it means to be an American. “Why Raise The Flag?” You may ask. Well, because when our Veterans raised the flag, they did it, so we could raise our hand in school, our crops on the farm, our kids for the future, and our voice when we need to. Thank you to all our Veterans! #RaiseTheFlag #VeteransDay 🇺🇸

Published by

Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s