Today is Flag Day.

While it comes and goes most years without a lot of notice, it’s a day that merits our attention — perhaps this year more than most.

Flag Day exists as a time to remember the sacrifices made by many to maintain the freedoms for which it stands.

President Harry Truman signed into law the designation of June 14 each year as Flag Day in 1949. The date commemorates when the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag in 1777. 

Many people around the Susquehanna Valley fly their flags this day each year. A good number will likely do so again today.

The Danville Elks will hold their annual Flag Day ceremony today in Memorial Park, Bloom Street, beginning at 2 p.m. 

But as traditional as that and other observances may be, there’s no question this year’s Flag Day is different.

This year, Flag Day finds us in the midst of a difficult, challenging, and important time in our nation.

It comes at a time when we continue to respond to the terrible death of George Floyd, a black man who died while a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for a cruel 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Memorial Day.

Protests and calls for police reform have reverberated across our country ever since.

It comes at a time when, even as we remain threatened by a global pandemic, large numbers of “We the people” have continued to demonstrate locally and nationwide, demanding justice and raising our voices about our nation’s racial inequities.

Many did that Saturday in Lewisburg and Sunbury.

It comes at a time when flag flying must be joined by the American people asking loudly and clearly: What kind of nation we want to be?

How we answer that question will say a great deal about our future.

And, it comes at a time when, maybe more than ever, we need to work to make sure the “Grand Old Flag” stands for what the Pledge of Allegiance calls for.

“Liberty and justice for all.”

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives, and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Editor Dennis Lyons.

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