American writer George William Curtis once said: "A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."
No matter how small of a town or big of a city, the American flag is a symbol of the nation's unity and strength. For over 200 years, millions of people nationwide proudly display the flag to show their patriotism and pride.
A 3-foot-by-5-foot American flag was donated July 31 to the Community Memorial Hospital Fitness Center in Syracuse by the Massie-Richards American Legion Auxiliary Unit #100 to inspire people as they shed some pounds.
"I was down here one time kind of looking around and I didn't see a flag. And I just felt like with everybody coming in that the fitness center should have one," said Jenice Bates, Legion Auxiliary Unit #100 department poppy chairwoman. "They deserve it."
Bates and Legion Auxiliary Unit #100 member Barb Miesbach presented the flag to fitness center Director Terri Janssen Thursday. Janssen said the flag will be displayed on the south wall near the indoor track. The location is ideal for customers using the track and fitness facilities, as well as customers walking into the building from the parking lot.
"When people walk by they'll see it, and they'll see it from the outside," Bates said.
Miesbach, who is a regular at the fitness center, agreed that the location of the flag is ideal because the flag won't get "weather-worn" from the outside elements.
Massie-Richards American Legion Post #100 Past Commander Roy Bretthorst taught Janssen about flag etiquette to display the flag properly. Janssen said the center's maintenance department will mount the flag onto the wall soon.
She added that the flag is a great addition to the fitness center, which moved to a different location at the beginning of May when the hospital underwent an expansion. The fitness center is now located at 940 12th St. in Syracuse.
Janssen is excited to see the flag displayed on the wall and hopes that it will motivate and inspire people exercising.
"With the wars and everything that's going on, I think that it's very important to show our patriotism," she added, "and I'm glad to be able to have a nice big wall to put it on."
For people wanting to see "Old Glory" on display, the fitness center is open for members 24-hours a day, every day.