It is the symbol of our nation’s pride. The American flag. And it rises proudly above government facilities and schools. But some businesses, including self storage facilities, also choose to display the flag. When a marine sergeant spotted a worn and tattered American flag flying at the Atlas Self Storage facility in Twentynine Palms, Calif., he decided to set an example to the marines he commands.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Montegue, unit commander for the Young Marine Program at the Marine Corps. Air Ground Combat Center also in Twentynine Palms, enlisted the help of the center’s Young Marines Program to pay respect to the red, white and blue by replacing it with a new flag. The marines replaced the flag with a new one in an official colors ceremony on April 16.
Jim Petras, manager of Atlas Self Storage was touched by the gesture.
“This makes me very proud,” said Petras. “The flag means a lot and to see these kids come out here is awesome. The leaders of the Young Marines do a great job.”
Montegue, who spotted the flag on his way to work one day, decided to use the opportunity to teach his Young Marines a valuable lesson.
“We wanted (the Young Marines) to understand that it’s not just a flag, it’s our country,” Montegue said. “It’s a reputation and sacrifice that we respect by honoring our flag.”
The replacement also provided an opportunity for the Young Marines to practice conducting an official colors ceremony. It was a struggle to fold the old, faded flag after taking it down because the flag was torn at nearly every seam, particularly along the stripes. But the marines were able to honor the old flag by retiring it properly and then hoisted up the new one.
“I have a lot of pride right now,” said Mary Stuckey, a Young Marines lance corporal who participated in the color ceremony. “Seeing it the way it was and how it is now, it feels good.”
“Young Marines Retire Weathered Flag.” Marines.military. April 22, 2011.
“Young Marine Program Delivers New Flag to Atlas Self Storage in CA.” Inside Self-Storage. April 26, 2011.