In honor of the 4th of July this Saturday I want to take a moment to share few memories from my life that I have of the  American Flag and what they mean to me. The Flag has a few special places in my life beyond being a symbol of my pride to be an American, it has also been a big part of my growing up.

I grew up living on army bases all over this great country and even the world. The American Flag seemed to be present everyday in my life. One of my earliest fondest memories of the flag was one night when I was about seven and my family lived at West Point. We were driving down a road on post passed Trophy Point, all of a sudden my Dad stopped the car and got out. The next thing I know he is alongside the driver side door standing at attention and saluting. After a moment I saw that they were taking down the flag for the day. This is the first memory I have of that type of event and after that I became aware of it everyday. Every military post raises and lowers the flag daily and during this everyone passing on foot or in a car should stop and recognize the flag during it's raising or lowering. It has always made me feel proud to see everyone stop and it males me feel part of a bigger thing, our American Flag and what it means to be an American.

My civilian flag memory that I cherish is the one from my grandpa's summer house in Nantucket. It the "task" you wanted to draw out of the hat , taking care of the flag. "Tasks" were what my grandpa "Pop" called chores. He always made them fun, sometimes they included supervised power tool use which usually horrify my mom. Everyday someone got to put the flag up and take the flag down. That included folding it as well. The game was to see if we could get it up a dawn before the neighbors. All the houses were in a line so you could always see whose went up first. I remember beating all the neighbor only once but it was fun to still try every morning.

Another special American Flag memory the comes to mind when ever I see Old Glory is the very special flag that was given to my family at my Dad's service at West Point when he was buried there in 1996. Military funerals are filled with many time honored traditions but the flag folding at the graveside and the flag presentation to the family is one of the most moving parts of the entire ceremony. I am the keeper of that flag for my family so you could say I keep our American Flag in my heart everyday.

So on this 4th of July let's celebrate this great country's 239 years of existence and make some more great American Flag memories.

Lee Greenwood at the Grand Ol Opry