On June 14, Stan Sarnocinski Jr., who works for the county's purchasing department as supply room supervisor, participated in an annual Flag Day ceremony held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
“I was proud and I was very happy to do this and very honored to be able to be there,” Sarnocinski said when I talked to him this week after his participation in the event.
|Stan Sarnocinski Jr. (Center) with members of U.S. Army Color Guard/Photo courtesy Sarnocinski|
Sarnocinski, currently the national president of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, the oldest patriotic organization in the U.S., founded in 1847, was a guest speaker at the event and was joined on the trip by 38 others from the organization. The U.S. Army also celebrated a birthday on June 14.
“Having a mom and a dad who were both World War II vets, I got to ring the Freedom Bell twice, for my mom and dad,” Sarnocinski said proudly.
The bell also was rung 49 times in remebrance of the victims of last weekend’s shooting spree in Orlando.
Here’s what Sarnocinski had to say when he spoke to the audience at the ceremony:
“As National president of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, I am honored to be here in Philadelphia today to help celebrate Flag Day. I also would like to wish the U.S. Army a Happy 241st Birthday. The Patriotic Order Sons of America was founded in 1847 in Philadelphia by Dr. Reynell Coates. The order was instrumental in getting Flag Day made a national holiday. One of our brothers, Francis E. Walter, who was a U.S. congressman, drafted the legislation which was signed on Aug. 3, 1949, by President Harry S. Truman declaring Flag Day fall each year on June 14. Our order has a long history in the Philadelphia area. We helped to save the Betsy Ross House and to bring Admiral Dewey’s flagship, the U.S. Battleship Olympia, to Philadelphia. We also helped to purchase and restore General George Washington’s Headquarters in Valley Forge. The order is glad to be able to present these American Flags to Independence Hall and the U.S. Park Service again this year. Thank you.”
|Flag Day at Independence Hall/Photo courtesy Stan Sarnocinski|
Members of the Order presented the superintendent at Independence Hall with a photograph of President Harry S. Truman in 1949 signing legislation that earmarked June 14 as Flag Day.
The Order has also donated flags to fly at Independence Hall and at Valley Forge National Historical Park for over 60 years, according to Sarnocinski.
At the conclusion of the ceremony members of an Army paratrooper squad parachuted with giant American Flags.
“That was so impressive,” Sarnocinski recalled.
Sarnocinski is known for displaying patriotism year round. As a member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, Washington Camp 523 of Eagleville, he has taken part in numerous solemn ceremonies retiring hundreds of tattered and torn American flags. Many of the flags are collected at the county courthouse in a special flag drop-off box that Sarnocinski was instrumental in securing.
The Order also has sponsored flag retirement boxes at the following locations: Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park; the Lower Salford Township building; Ace Hardware, Route 63, Harleysville; the 4-H Club along Route 113 in Creamery; the Lowe’s store on Egypt Road, Oaks; the Montgomery Township building along Stump Road in Montgomeryville; the American Legion Post 688, Route 30, in Wayne, Chester County; and at the organization’s state office along Route 61 in Leesport, Berks County.
Stan Sarnocinski Jr. collecting retired flags/ Mercury Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
I salute you, Stan, for participating in these very patriotic events!