One of the most important, patriotic, and glorious symbols of any nation is its flag. There are almost 200 separate countries globally who have their own unique flag. These flags can represent many things. For some nations, their flag displays their history and past. For others, it may be a way to express that country’s beliefs or morals. Some flags even have a unique shape, straying away from the standard rectangle. However, despite the many flags used worldwide, one thing is for sure: the flag is one of the most important aspects of a nation. This is one of the many reasons why every year, on June 14, Flag Day is observed in the United States. On this day, we honor and celebrate the anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes flag we all know and love today. Here is a brief history of our valiant banner and the holiday itself.
Let’s travel back in time to the American Revolution when the 13 Colonies were in the middle of a raging fight for their independence from Britain. The soon-to-be states were still fighting under their separate flags, appearing a bit disorganized to the oncoming British soldiers. So, during the session of the Second Continental Congress just a couple of years later, the delegates decided to create and adopt a new flag that represented all 13 colonies. After a bit of discussion, they agreed on a flag design on June 14, 1777, that contained 13 stripes and 13 stars. According to the Constitutional Congress’ resolution, the stripes represented the 13 colonies (which they still do today), and the stars were meant to represent a constellation that connected the Union and held the colonies together. Now there are 50 stars on the flag to represent the 50 states that make up the Union today, but the general idea of the constellation design remains the same.
Many Americans were joyful after the flag was adopted. They could finally stop associating themselves with the British, something they had dreamed of for so long. Over a century after this historic day, one Wisconsin teacher had a brilliant idea. In 1885, Bernard Cigrand decided to lead his school in a large observance of the United States flag on the anniversary of its adoption. He continued to show his respect for the flag on the same day each year by holding more observances in his community. Years later, these actions eventually persuaded President Woodrow Wilson to make the event a national holiday. So, thanks to Cigrand’s efforts, Flag Day was made official in 1916. For the past 100 years, we have celebrated the banner that makes our country unique and special.
Have you gotten more comfortable socializing without a mask and disregarding COVID precautions? Don’t. Not too long ago, during my last two weeks of 4th grade, I noticed a huge absence of students in my class, as well as in school. It was not due to families going on vacations.
Instead, it was mainly caused by end-of-schoolyear parties, performances, and celebrations. Not long after, one-third of a class at my school were out from a huge COVID-19 contamination days before summer break began. A great handful of students in 6th grade were at home, also positive from COVID, from an annual one-hour musical that they performed, unfortunately missing their school promotion.
I felt worried when hearing about this outbreak as everyone was capable of being exposed to this virus. In response, I have become even more dutiful wearing my mask because being cut off from socializing due to catching COVID-19 was the last thing I wanted.
I cannot overemphasize that COVID 19, or the coronavirus, is a highly contagious disease that spreads mainly through particles in the air. This virus caused millions of people to get sick and tens of thousands to die.
First started in late 2019 by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV, this illness has mutated into variants and sub-variants, creating two of the most common COVID-19 variants — Delta and Omicron, Omicron being more infectious than the Delta variant.
You may be familiar with mask fatigue especially as days get warmer. However, remember that many asymptomatic individuals unknowingly spread COVID-19 and we never want to put our immunocompromised loved ones at risk of getting sick. As COVID-19 can spread easily, we should always try to reduce chances of coming in contact: wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating or putting hands in eyes, nose, ear, or mouth; wear a mask (full coverage over nose and mouth); observe social distancing (6 feet); and get vaccinated.
Not long after the first day of June, the United States was met with another mass shooting — the 232nd of the year. As a high school student raised and taught in the American school system, lockdown drills and news headlines of deadly massacres are all too familiar. When I share conversations with family and friends in the U.S., we always come to one conclusion—our country’s education system was never designed to protect and nurture students.
But here’s a grim reality check—mass shootings have become a part of American culture. In truth, we’ve become desensitized to the deaths of young children and adolescents. For our politicians, these little bodies are mere statistics. The very adults who should be protecting our lives, are advocating for the same laws that put our lives and liberty at stake.
Every student has an unequivocal right to seek an education without living in fear. Change ultimately begins with the adults who vote for politicians and endures with the adults who govern our country. So, defend us. Preserve our rights.
To sign a petition in favor of ending gun violence in the U.S., visit: https://marchforourlives.com/sign-thepetition/
For most, school has ended and students in our city are now enjoying their break to have time to relax and spend time with family and friends. When your summer plans start to slow down and you’re running out of things to do, this summer bucket list can come to your great rescue, a soothing cure to your boredom that gets you right back on track to enjoy the kind of summer break you deserve.
1. Make iced tea or homemade ice cream. Just chill some tea in the refrigerator until cold. For ice cream you’ll need heavy cream, sugar, ice, salt, and “step-by-step guide” online.
2. Beach picnic. Invite your family or friends to your aesthetic picnic inspired by ideas from Pinterest by the beach.
3. Learn something new. Pick up a new hobby like guitar, origami, painting, or even a new language. Many places offer classes either online or in-person. You could even learn by watching YouTube.
4. Write in a diary or journal. Writing can help you cope with stress and sleep better at night. A diary is where you write down your thoughts and better learn to understand yourself.
5. Write a future letter to yourself. It’ll be fun to save the letter and read it 5 years from now. There are online websites like futureme.org or you can just write one on paper.
6. Go to a thrift store. Like a treasure hunt, you might find something you like. While you’re at it, thrifting also helps reduce waste, which helps our planet.
7. Decorate your driveway with chalk. Impress your parents with colorful artwork when they come back from work. Or, write inspirational messages for people passing by.
8. Make your favorite Starbucks or Jamba Juice drinks at home. Sip a cool Frappuccino or smoothie with your friends on a hot day to cool you off from the blazing heat.
9. Knit or crochet. Make some cute projects for yourself or family like a sweater for when you go back to school or an amigurumi doll.
10. Volunteer and give back to Fullerton. Be compassionate and engage in volunteer opportunities like the OC
Food Bank, Fullerton Library, OC United, Fullerton Observer, and Meals on Wheels.
Meow hello to Flower, a feline who arrived at the OC Animal Care in need of immediate medical attention. She was hit by a car, and in addition to sustaining a head injury, Flower suffered from several open wounds along her body, such as two broken femurs. Each wound was carefully and separately treated. After the surgery, Flower spent some much-needed time bonding with the OC Staff, healing, resting, and regaining her strength. While Flower is still taking it easy, she is ready to find her fur-ever family. She loves every friend she meets and is as sweet as her name. She loves to nuzzle into your hands for scratches in the place where she just can’t reach (and she loves the attention). Visit http://www.ocpetinfo.com or Call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an adoption appointment today.
Endangered Animal Trivia
Q: What is endangering the coconut crabs?
A: Predation, habitat destruction, and overharvesting. These are some of the threats jeopardizing the coconut crab (also known as the robber crab) today.
Fun Fact: A coconut crab can get as big as three feet across. They have the strongest pinch of all crabs. Coconut crabs get their name by the way they powerfully (and skillfully) split coconuts open. If they are in water too long, they will drown as they cannot swim. They are one of the largest land-living crabs. Coconut crabs are also one of the few poisonous crabs. They can live up to 60 years.