Monday, February 25, 2013
Disneyland Flag Retreat
Disneyland Flag Retreat
One often overlooked special treat at Disneyland is taking a few minutes to watch the Flag Retreat ceremony. If you are lucky you will see Security Guard and Disney Legacy Ernie lead the Color Guard to retrieve the Flag.
Here is video of Disneyland’s Flag Retreat:
The Disneyland Band and/or the Dapper Dans will come out to sing and play patriotic music that includes the National Anthem and the Hymns for each branch of our great nations military service. As each service’s hymn is played retired and active duty service men and women from that branch of service are invited and even encouraged to come stand around the Flag they helped keep flying. This is a deeply moving experience for those watching. It does not matter if you have ever served.
The last time I had the pleasure of watching this amazing ceremony tears came to my eyes. I listened as the Army’s Hymn played and a few men stepped up. The Navy’s Hymn was played and more men stepped up and filled in the circle. The Marine’s Hymn sounded and more answered the call, The Coast Guard’s Hymn played and one of the Marine’s stepped back and once again into the circle because he served in both. As the Coast Guard’s Hymn ended a young man ran breathless into the Town Square near the Flag. As the Anthem for the Air Force started to play the breathless gentleman marched smartly up to the Flag and saluted. He sang the Air Force Hymn as if his full unit was there standing with him.
After the ceremony I walked up to this, obviously proud youth and thanked him for his service. He told me no thanks was needed and thanked me for honoring him.
Shortly after the ceremony ended Ernie came back with the Color Guard and the Flag to take pictures with people who wanted them. The Air Force gentleman grabbed his camera and looked for someone to take a picture. I was honored to step up and offer to take their picture. I took it with the Serviceman's camera so I do not have the picture.
Now here is a little bit about Ernie. Ernie has worked at DLR for over 20 years. Most of that he has lead the Flag Retreat. He was a Marine before that. It is obvious his pleasure to honor his fellow Servicemen and our great country. Ernie recently was honored with a new and name tag. Ernie’s name tag is now blue instead of the standard white. It means he was honored with the Legacy Award. The Legacy Award honors employees at Disney Parks around the world that exemplify the standards of the company while performing their duties. This truly fits Ernie. If you see Ernie be ready to have your hand shook and/or be embraced by him. If you have served or are active military be assured he will give you a proper salute and honor.
Here is a video in honor of Ernie’s 20 years of service at the Main Street Flag Pole: