By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent June 19, 2012 1:26PM
Members of the Cedar Lake American Legion Post #261 march down Lake Shore Drive during a parade honoring the 33rd annual National Flag Day on Thursday, June 14, 2012, in Cedar Lake. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2012 1:51PM
American flags lined Lake Shore Drive in Cedar Lake Thursday, June 14, as the patriotic paid tribute to Old Glory during the town’s 13th annual Flag Day parade.
More than 100 walkers dressed in red, white and blue followed the procession from the Dairy Queen to the Chamber of Commerce for the town’s annual Pause for the Pledge commemoration on the 33rd anniversary of Flag Day.
Larry Ponziano of Cedar Lake came to watch the event and his son, Robbie, 14, who was a member of Boy Scout Troop 105. The Troop was part of the parade of flags.
“I am very proud of our community,” Ponziano said. He said events such as the parade and Pause make him glad he moved to the town 17 years ago to raise his three sons.
“I really find there are some family values here,” he said.
The event featured a number of speakers including Town Councilman Robert Carnahan, Clerk-Treasurer Amy Sund, State Sen. Sue Landske, Lake County Councilman Gerry Schueb, D-2, and Mark Lopez from U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky’s office, along with a performance from opera singer and Cedar Lake native Brenda Roberts.
Boy Scout Troop 105 was joined by Cub Scout Pack 129, Girl Scout Troop 70 and four time state champion Hanover Central Pom Cats, along with American Legion Post 261, Amvets Post 15 and its Ladies Auxillary.
Youngster Katie Jostes was tapped to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at exactly 6 p.m. as part of a nationally synchronized effort to get Americans to stop and say the pledge during the Pause for the Pledge effort.
Friends LouAnn Miller, Fran Holtz and Kim Porter, as well as Porter’s children Nicole 12 and Joey, 8, were among those who participated in the patriotic event.
Miller was bedecked in red, white and blue attire to mark the occasion.
“I come every year. I think it’s important to remember what the flag is a symbol of, where it came from and to bring everybody together,” Miller said.
The women said it is important to remember our heritage and make sure that it is passed along to the next generation.
“I like to come down here. We need to remember our culture and the people who keep us safe,” Nicole Porter said.
“And to remember our heritage,” Holtz said.
Madison Jecmen, 6, and her mom Tara Jean Brink-Jecman of Momence, Ill., decorated their bicycles with patriotic flair to participate in the parade. It was their first time at the event. Brink-Jecman said when her daughter heard about the parade from her grandparents, she could not wait to take part. The pair went out Wednesday and purchased streamers and flags to decorate their bikes and dressed from head to toe in red, white and blue attire.
“She woke up at eight today and asked if it was time for the parade,” Brink-Jecman said. “She was so excited.”