The Spirit of Patriots on Flag Day

 The Spirit of Patriots on Flag Day

By Katie Larkin

Last week, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to witness the true spirit of America come to life at the Rockaway Republican Club’s Flag Day event at Callie’s on Beach 129th Street. A gathering of like-minded patriots and their families was truly something spectacular to see because it was a time where people were able to set aside their differences and come together as a community, as neighbors, to share time and fun with one another. The camaraderie that I saw gave me so much hope for the future of the Rockaway community. On this special Flag Day, Callie’s had dedicated their new American flag in honor of a fallen marine and local, Michael Glover.

Neighbors from all around, including 77 WABC radio host Sid Rosenberg, the Best Dressed Man in Rockaway, Owen Loof, Assembly candidate Tom Sullivan, Congressional candidate Paul King and many others joined in for the patriotic occasion. The evening started bright and sunny with people just beginning to socialize and participate in the planned crafts. Then suddenly, a downpour sprung out of nowhere! People went running under the cover of Callie’s canopy as the torrential rain picked up the pace. Papers, plates, various food items – all sopping wet! While most people would consider their day ruined after such a turn of events, these patriots rose up and made the best of the situation. Kids, who lost the ability to do the planned crafts, took to playing with each other in the rain, splashing one another and running around the grounds of Callie’s. The adults watched on and talked with one another as their little ones enjoyed themselves. “Hey, at least they are making the best of it,” remarked one of the adults to me as she weaved through the dining area. Another person went on to say, “It’s nice to see the kids splashing in the rain like we did as kids.” The rest of us followed suit in the spirit of resilience and began to redo our setup, now under the cover of a canopy. I also took up the mantle to assist my fellow patriots by retrieving our supplies from the storm.

After a little while of playing, conversing, and a prayer to bless the flag, it was now the moment of great importance: the dedication ceremony. To start it off, Rockaway Republican Club president, Mary Glynn, gave a beautiful, rousing speech about the life of Michael Glover and the impact his service had on those around him. “Glover was a brave and kind person whose leadership inspired everyone he was around,” she said. Mary Glynn captured the very essence of Glover’s character with these words. We were also honored by the presence of Glover’s family who thanked us all for remembering him and his service to the country. Then a wonderful sight arose along with a blessed reprieve from the rain…Old Glory risen in memory of a great and selfless man who gave up everything in defense of his home, his family, and complete strangers like you and me. With a salute by our very own Tom Sullivan, and the sound of our national anthem playing in the background, Callie’s new flag had found its home!

The ending of this event was marked by a unique video tribute to Mr. Glover which left some in tears, while others were left in solemn silence and awe. I, too, was moved by the level of love everyone had for someone they may not have known personally, but appreciated nonetheless. As the daughter of a veteran, I once again have hope for my country because there are those out there who will never leave people like my father and Mr. Glover forgotten or unappreciated. Thank you to everyone who came together to honor our nation. Thank you RRC for bringing this wonderful evening to Rockaway residents. A special thank you to Callie’s and to the family of Michael Glover. Most importantly, I thank you Michael Glover… You are never forgotten and never will be!

Photos by Jerry Steib and Thomas Willis.

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