On June 14, Elks Lodge 819 and American Legion Post 141 held Flag Day ceremonies honoring the symbol of our country. I am certain that the event was done with honor as a fitting tribute to the world wide banner of freedom. Mr. Acklin takes myself and the City Council to task for not attending this singular event.
The City Council and I participate in many patriotic events in the City: The Salute to Freedom, Veterans Day ceremonies; Memorial Day ceremonies in Mt. Vernon and Bluford; medal presentations to our local veterans and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Unknown to Mr. Acklin, I had a prior commitment on this day which took me out of town. Likewise, Mr. Acklin is unaware that I attend and oftentimes asked to speak at our local veterans events and received official recognition for the support I have shown over the years to our veterans and to their local organizations.
A couple of years ago, I spent many hours with a group of ladies to successfully work with the Illinois Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the effort to bring a magnificent memorial to Mt. Vernon that honors the nation’s military women.
I particularly take issue with Mr. Acklin questioning the patriotism of our City Council members. Also unknown to Mr. Acklin, three of our four council members and our city manager have served this country honorably in the United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps.
Mr. Acklin continues his string of “indictments” against the City of Mt. Vernon regarding the Avenue of Flags program on Memorial Day. This wonderful program is sponsored and managed by the Rotary Clubs of Mt. Vernon and not the City of Mt. Vernon. Checking the facts with the Rotary Flag Program chairman indicated that the club did have its flags out on Memorial Day, as they are (weather permitting) on every holiday between May and November.
I appreciate Mr. Acklin’s love of our country and concern for our City of Mt. Vernon. If his passions about these issues are as sincere and important to him as he says, perhaps a phone call to a city official for information clarification, frequent attendance at our council or workshop meetings, or involving himself in the process would achieve the desired affect he so strongly supports.
Mayor Mary Jane Chesley