Flag Day Recognized at Lakeside Park

Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper, Trevor Casper

Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper, Trevor Casper

The legend is that George Washington, and two other members of the Continental Congress asked Betsy Ross to sew the first American flag sometime in the late spring of 1776.

Ross was already a widow in her young 20’s when she was assigned this patriotic task. She completed the flag, arranging thirteen stars in a circle representing the thirteen colonies that fought against the British for self-governance. It was a year later that the Continental Congress adopted the design for the national flag.

The first Flag Day was celebrated on its centennial in 1877.

In 1916, a grass roots movement resulted in President Woodrow Wilson issuing a proclamation that called for an annual nationwide observance of Flag Day on June 14th.

Although Flag Day is still not recognized as a national holiday, it was made a permanent observance by Congress in 1949.

Sunday morning at 11am, June 14th you’re invited to Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac for a celebration of patriotism, and remembrance at the flag pole on the corner of Main Street and Promen Drive.

The Fond du Lac chapter of the Elks are providing the ceremonial flag for the 2015 National Flag Day, the 240th Army Birthday, and the Navy Reserve Centennial with scheduled aviation support from the Flight For Life.

A Fond du Lac Fire Department fire engine and Wisconsin State Patrol motorcycle will serve as static displays as this year’s focus is on public safety for Americans. The theme will be “Honoring those who protect and serve.” Appropriately, law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice will be remembered as they ethically ensured public safety where our U.S. flag represents the freedom and liberties we enjoy.

The Son’s of the American Legion Squadron #75 Commander, Mike Kollmansberger, will lead the American Legion Rider’s Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) tribute procession prior to the official ceremony beginning promptly at 11.

The Walleye Weekend sound system will be configured to facilitate a festival-wide broadcast of the ceremony.

Flag and accompanying certificates of authenticities will be presented in memory of slain Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz and State Trooper Trevor Casper.

In addition, war-era Veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will be presented flags.

The City of Fond du Lac will be presented a flag, as well as Lakeshore Elementary School which was recognized as a 2014 Blue Ribbon School.

A majority of the flags that will be presented were flown at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day in 2014, the United States Strategic Command in Nebraska (secure location for President George W. Bush on 9/11/2001), the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Battleship WISCONSIN in Virginia on her birthday, at the Pentagon on Armed Forces Day to thank those military members who are surviving, and the U.S. Capitol on Peace Officers Memorial Day to pay tribute to our nation’s valued fallen law enforcement officers.

The National Anthem will be sung by John Oberg and Shannon Roen.

CRAIG_BERKHOLZLakeshore Elementary School in Fond du Lac is among eight Wisconsin 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools, and the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Pack 3702’s Scout, Bear Kolby Martin, one of many great students from Lakeshore Elementary School who contributed to the coveted award under the leadership of Principal Matt Steinbarth and staff.

The 4-H Pledge will be led by Allison Opheim and Emily Franke of the FDL County 4-H.

Peace Officers Memorial Day was held on May 15, 2015. Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in the United States that pays tribute to the local, state, and Federal peace officers who have died in the line of duty. As a result, the following peace officers will be honored:

1. Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper, Trevor Casper, (Car #346), honorably served the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and made the ultimate sacrifice on March 24th, 2015.

2. Former United States Army Sergeant who heroically served in Iraq and Afghanistan and honorably served as a Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Police Department Officer, Craig A. Birkholz (Badge #67), made the ultimate sacrifice on March 20, 2011.

While remembering those who committed the ultimate sacrifice, it is appropriate to present yellow roses to Gold Star Mothers.

Thanks to American Legion Auxiliary #75’s Donna Wilhelms for providing military service flags which allows military members to represent their respective services. Diane has also provided the Prisoners of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) flag and place setting, which sufficiently complements the American Legion Rider’s POW/MIA tribute procession led by Sons of the American Legion Squadron 75: Commander Mike Kollmansberger.

To properly pay tribute to all military veterans, POW/MIAs, Veteran’s groups and civic organizations that value our U.S. flag are encouraged to attend.

“Armed Forces Salute” will be sung by John Oberg, Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class Petty Officer, USN Korean War Era.

The Fond du Lac McCullen-Kimpel Detachment 552’s USMC League, and Elks will conduct the Flag History, Flag Folding, and Taps, all followed by the Wisconsin Marching Band’s performance.

Prior to these ceremonies, Father Ryan Pruess, Holy Family Catholic Community, Fond du Lac, will be celebrating the Catholic Mass on the Walleye Weekend Point Stage and Pastor John Slotten, Fond du Lac Essential Rock Church, will be delivering the ecumenical service on the K107 Stage, both at 9:15 a.m. They have chosen to collect a special purposeful offering and generously donate the proceeds to the van that Hearts to Heroes plans to purchase for area Veterans.

Father Ryan Pruess will also deliver the Invocation and Pastor John Slotten will deliver the Benediction during the National Flag Day event.

Thanks to all organizers and contributors to this event. For more information contact Ron Roen with questions at 402-709-0915 or

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