by Janet Broussard, Applications Specialist
Flag Day isn’t just another date on the calendar to me. It’s an essential day that is overlooked because it falls between two significant holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Flag Day is an opportunity to show pride for our country and reflect on the freedoms that I hold so dear. The American flag is symbolic to many people. For me, it represents the principles and values our country was founded on. It represents the blood that has been shed and the lives lost fighting to protect us from tyranny and oppression.
It represents my family’s dedication to our country. My ancestors fought in almost every war since the American Revolution. My son, Mark St. Romain, Jr., joined the Louisiana National Guard at 17 years old. He has 23 years of service with 4 Middle East deployments where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. I am very proud of him and his service. His service provides me the honor of being a Blue Star Mother.
The Blue Star Mothers organization is a 501c3 service and support organization. We simply support those who currently serve, have served and their families. I founded Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter 1 in 2005 when Mark was deploying to Iraq. It was a very scary and uncertain moment of time for me. Since then our chapter has grown to provide support through meetings, events that honor the fallen, care packages and so much more. We also offer scholarships to service members and veterans.
We plant 11,000 American Flags at the State Capitol each Memorial Day weekend. Each flag represents a Louisiana son or daughter who gave his/her life to our country. It is a sight that will stop you in your tracks. Our most important role is to support a fellow military family when they lose a loved one while serving. I’ve stood by many mothers as they buried their child with the American Flag draped over the casket. This is very difficult but I do it with honor and pride. When I look at that simple red, white and blue flag I see the faces of our fallen, I see their mother’s tears, and I see my own child’s tears for friends lost and the struggles that come of war. I see the men and women who fought in Vietnam and were never properly recognized for their service, the veterans of the “forgotten” war of Korea, the few remaining heroes of WWII and all the wars and battles in between.
Additionally, I see the values and principles of our forefathers when they began to create this great nation. I also see hope for generations to come and pray that they will respect what we sometimes can take for granted. My hope this Flag Day is that you take the time to reflect on what our flag means to you. Make sure you display it properly and with pride. Wear the colors that represent our country and most importantly, thank someone for their service. After all, they are the reason why we live in freedom!