Representatives from the American Legion Post No. 928 raised the flag at the Holly Senior Living Apartments in Angola.
ANGOLA — The Holly Senior Living Apartments in Angola held a flag day dedication on June 12, with a color guard from American Legion Post No. 928; Deputy Mayor William Houston and keynote speaker Dennis Glascott, Angola justice and partner at Goldberg Segalla and manager Linda Chapple acting as mistress of ceremonies. Holly Apartments residents, friends and family gathered to recognize the flag and what it means to Americans.
Chapple opened the ceremony by sharing some of her thoughts on the flag. “When I came here a year and a half ago, there was no flagpole. I realized how important it is to veterans and Holly is part of the Angola community, as a whole. When a resident comes to the driveway and sees the flag, it’s like they’re home.”
Houston thanked the residents for having him and said that, in recognition of flag day, “it’s important to pause. There’s so much going on in our country and our world, and it’s great to recognize this community. It’s a privilege to serve the community.”
The deputy mayor also shared a few thoughts on the journey toward building Holly Senior Living Apartments, which is a property of People Inc. “I don’t know how I got volunteered to work on [the senior housing] committee, but I did,” he said. “I thought it needed to be a part of our walkable community, so people can walk to community things, like the gas station and the grocery store. It needed to be in a pleasant area, not stuck out in the middle of nowhere.”
He said that he had obtained maps of the area and presented them to People Inc, to demonstrate the two properties that would have to be purchased in town, in order to build the structure.
“The price was a little high, because they were two houses in town, not in the middle of noplace,” he added. “After a little dickering back and forth, the location was decided on. Only two people were concerned. The community opened its arms and wanted this to happen, and it seemed to work out really nice. I’m happy to have been a part of it.”
Residents, guests, the color guard and guest speaker Dennis Glascott gathered for a photo, after the flag day ceremonies.
Glascott, a Navy veteran village justice, former United States advocate for the Navy and candidate for New York state justice, spoke on the importance of the flag in his family.
“My dad, Tommy Glascott, was a veteran of World War II and Korea. He’s still a force in our lives, at 89. I’m the son of this tough, old war vet who wore his status as a vet so proudly. The flag meant so much to him. During the Vietnam War, when people were burning the flag in the streets, that broke his heart,” he said.
“That sense of national pride seemed to falter in the 1970s and 80s. That we didn’t have that civic pride was a cause for concern. In September of 2001, the terrible events at the World Trade Center occurred and there was a shift. We came together, unified and rallied around our flag. And that’s a good thing.”
He added that, in 2004, his family hosted a foreign exchange student from Italy who “couldn’t believe” how many flags were displayed at homes, businesses and public buildings. “That was a great source of pride for me,” Glascott noted. “The flag was commissioned in 1777, during the second continental congress and in 1916, Woodrow Wilson commissioned June 14 as national flag day. Think about those dates: Those were turbulent times. But there’s a possibility some good came out of it: We were able to rally around that flag that means so much to us, as Americans.
“We should never forget the men and women who sacrificed so much to protect that flag and our country,” Glascott concluded. “It’s an honor to have that flag. Please remember also those who have fallen, who have given so much to our nation, and treat our flag with respect. God bless America.”
Chapple, who is the widow of a Korea War veteran and has a son serving now said that she feels a special connection to the flag. “It’s a symbol of strength. Memorial Day, the fourth of July, these are important days, but flag day is the oldest day in existence that we recognize our veterans. Remember the people who are currently serving and remember those who are coming home. They’re going to need us, all of us,” she said.
After the ceremony, the color guard raised a flag in front of Holly Apartments, with Charlie, a 40-year color guard and World War II veteran, on one of the ropes. A reception and tours of the apartments followed.
In addition to the flag raising, the senior residence also has a container outside its doors for flag retirement. Locals may bring flags they wish to have properly retired until the fourth of July.
In addition, each People Inc. site has made a blanket that will go to the Wounded Warriors Project. Those will be displayed at the annual fourth of July picnic, before they are given away.
“It’s important to teach each other the meaning of the flag,” Chapple said, noting that the red stripes stand for valor and zeal; the white stands for hope and cleanliness of life and the blue stands for the heavens, reverence and loyalty. “It’s important to educate each other and honor those who served.”
The flag day ceremony is one of the facility’s annual events. Holly Senior Living Apartments is located at 174 North Main St. in Angola. For more information about that People Inc. location, call 549-1606. For more information about other senior living sites, call 817-9090.