Thursday, June 14, 2012

American Pride! the Stars and Strips

American Pride! The Stars and Strips

Today is Flag Day here in the USA. American Pride and Disney go hand in hand. Walt Disney said, "Actually, if you could see close in my eyes, the American flag is waving in both of them and up my spine is growing this red, white and blue stripe." That patriotic spirit still thrives in the Disney Company today.

At the end of WWI Walt Disney lied about his age and went to France to drive an ambulance there to help US service personal. WWII Disney Studios was taken over by the US Army and in fact WWII almost destroyed the studio financially. Animators that were scheduled to make feature length movies were making Military training shorts and propaganda videos to help the war effort.

Every day at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom there is the evening Flag Retreat, the honoring of the symbol of our American Pride. A crowd gathers as the Disney Park Band, a visiting college band or the Dapper Dans play or sing patriotic songs and the National Anthem as the Grand Ol Flag is lowered for the evening. This is a stirring event that is well worth scheduling into your day.

At Disneyland it is fun to note that the window to Walt’s Main Street apartment looks out onto Town Square and the flag pole. When Walt was in the park during the flag retreat he could be found watching the flag being lowered from his window above the Main Street Fire Station.

Today the Flag Retreat will have extra significance and be treated with even more reverence than it is done daily. Days like today Cast Members that have served will be invited to come and stand around the Flag as it is lowered. They are honored for their service to America. They do this on Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

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