Names and Flags

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 Dear Editor:

It is with interest that I read the article on the "Washington Avenue Memorial Circle." However, there are some comments I'd like to express on it.

My historians advise me that Rockaway Beach Boulevard used to be called Washington Boulevard, for which the traffic circle on Beach 120th Street was named, as was the now-gone Washington Hotel and Catering Hall. Heck, the street I live on was originally known as Park Avenue, in addition to the Beach numbered street.

The Memorial Circle, in recent years, has, for reasons that escape me, been renamed Veterans Memorial Circle. My explanation for changing the name back is as follows...

"Armed Forces Day" honors those still serving in the United States Military, in the uniform of their branch of our Armed Forces.

"Veterans Day" honors those who served in the United States Military, who were able to return home, and remove the uniform of the branch of the Armed Forces in which they served.

Here's the point of my missive: "Memorial Day," known by some of the oldest of the old timers, as "Decoration Day," is the day we honor those who were denied the distinction of becoming Veterans, as they were killed while serving in the Armed Forces, defending our Country against foreign countries.

I implore all your readers, and the NYC Parks Department, to refer to the circle correctly. After all, the plaques by the trees show the names of those of some who died defending our country.

On a slightly different subject, I note several locations around the neighborhood where residents are displaying flagpoles with the flag of the United States on it. All fine and good, a nice depiction of patriotism.

My issue here, is per the Flag Code (yes, there actually is such a thing), some folks are unwittingly violating this code. Specifically, these well-meaning people, on a single flagpole, are flying the flag of Ireland underneath the Flag of the United States. Per the code, the US Flag is only supposed to be displayed over the flag of another country, when we've defeated them in a war. Did we have a war with Ireland, or now Ukraine, that nobody bothered to tell me about?

The aforementioned code specifies that you can fly both flags, as long as they're displayed from two separate flagpoles of equal height, at equal height. I've no issue with people displaying the flag of the nation their family came from, or in support of another country, or even of a service they're connected with. I'm known for displaying a generic flag of the Emergency Medical Services on a second flagpole. You'll notice McDonald's flies their corporate flag under the U.S. flag, on a single pole, as, per the code, such is allowed. My issue is displaying two national flags on the same pole. That is disrespectful to both countries.

I'll climb down from my soapbox now.

 Richard C Berger

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