Families with strong traditions of truly commemorating events like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July create in their children an enduring reverence for our country and its symbols.
Those who grew up in families that always make a point of flying the flag, of honoring our war dead and thanking a veteran likely find it hard to believe that some citizens never had that experience as children. Some spend their entire lives devoid of the deep sense of country that stirs at the sight of a crisp American flag flying aloft in a stiff breeze.
We don't mean they lack patriotism. It is not that.
Rather there is a void in the place where, for the rest of us, we feel a catch in our throats when our voices blend with an army of others to sing God Bless America. Parents surely deprive their children of something quite wonderful if they do not make opportunities to share their love of country with their children in open and tangible demonstrations of patriotism.
There are some very different opportunities to do that coming up in the next few weeks.
The first is at noon Saturday at Harley Davidson of Jamestown when the Nationwide Patriot Tour is due from Erie.
The Patriot Tour is a relay carrying an American flag through 48 states along a 14,000-mile route by some 150,000 people. The flag is transported by cavalcades of motorcycle enthusiasts in support of military members, their families and our nation.
When the flag arrives from Erie, it will be turned over to the Chautauqua-Kinzua HOG group, whose members will see to it that at 9 a.m. Sunday, the flag, with a proper escort, will continue its journey eastward.
Harley Davidson of Jamestown is on East Main Street, Falconer, near the I86 exit. The public is welcome.
The second series of events will be the following week. As always around Flag Day, folks in Kennedy and the Herman Kent Post, American Legion, in Celoron will have ceremonies to properly and honorably retire old flags.
Roland Swanson is master of ceremonies for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, event at Hallquist Park in Kennedy. The public is invited to attend this Kennedy Pride event and stay for a free dish-to-pass picnic afterward.
Take your children. It will do them good.