Our community’s Liberty Pole traces its ancestry to the 1774 Liberty Pole at Concord, Massachusetts and flies the people’s ensign as a symbol of liberty, freedom, independence, and strength.
RECOGNIZING CUBA, NY AND ITS LIBERTY POLE COMMEMORATING 9/11/2001 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, September 10, 2009
Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the citizens of Cuba, NY, who tomorrow will dedicate a 150-foot flag pole, which they have dubbed the Liberty Pole, to commemorate the tragedy that befell our great Nation on September 11, 2001. I will have the honor of being at that ceremony, where I will see flown for the first time a large American flag that flew over this storied chamber only days ago.
Cuba, like thousands of small towns across our Nation, experienced the tremendous sadness and loss of that day, and like their fellow Americans they rose to the challenge, sending dozens of people to Ground Zero to assist in the rescue efforts. Volunteers from their fire department, ambulance corps, and local charities all donated their time, efforts, and equipment. These were acts of individual heroism, but more importantly, they were the acts of a selfless, compassionate, and patriotic community who answered the call for help in our Nation’s time of need. Tomorrow, that community will come together to fly our Nation’s flag atop the Liberty Pole, one of the tallest flag poles in the country.
As a veteran, our country’s flag holds special meaning in my heart. Like so many before and after me, I rose in the morning and retired each night honoring our Nation’s flag, privileged to have the duty of defending it from those who would cause what it stood for harm. In Cuba tomorrow, as that great flag flies over us, we will be reminded that this sacred duty is not exclusively that of the solider. Men and women from all walks of life, privileged to be citizens of this greatest nation on Earth, share in this duty and in the responsibility of passing this flag and its solemn significance on to future generations of Americans. There have been 26 predecessors to our current fifty-star flag, but the American ideals of freedom, liberty, and of shared sacrifice represented by our flag have remained unchanged since our Nation’s inception.
The Liberty Pole in Cuba will now stand for generations as a testament to the enduring patriotism of a community and of the resiliency of the American Spirit. Each day, our Nation’s flag will fly atop its mast, reminding both the residents of Cuba, NY, and our Nation not only of the events of September 11, 2001, but of America’s ability to overcome adversity, to share in sacrifice, to confront her enemies, and to build a brighter and more prosperous future for her children. These qualities will ensure that our Nation will always overcome tragedy, and it is these qualities that will forever make our Nation great.