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Flag Day: 'Our flag is more than a piece of cloth' | PHOTOS

This year’s special guest speaker is Col. Robin Blanchard. Col. Blanchard was commissioned in 1986 after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. In her 26-year military career, she has held staff and command assignments through Company, Battalion and Brigade levels. In 2009, she assumed command of the 205th Regiment. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
This year’s special guest speaker is Col. Robin Blanchard. Col. Blanchard was commissioned in 1986 after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. In her 26-year military career, she has held staff and command assignments through Company, Battalion and Brigade levels. In 2009, she assumed command of the 205th Regiment.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

The U.S. flag is more than just a piece of cloth.

"It represents the people we serve. It represents the people we are willing to die for," said Col. Robin Blanchard, the keynote speaker at the annual Flag Day Ceremony in Federal Way. (PHOTOS)

Col. Blanchard leads the 96th Troop Command’s nearly 2,000-member unit headquartered in Seattle. She is the first female officer of the Washington Army National Guard to command at the Brigade level.

"It's rare if I can get through the 'Star-Spangled Banner' without tears," Blanchard told attendees June 9 at the Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center.

"Our flag means something. Our flag is us, and we are it," she said. "Our flag is more than a piece of cloth because we believe in what it stands for."

After her speech, she led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then she gave the pledge of enlistment to about a dozen new recruits.

The event was sponsored by King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer's office and the Soroptimist of Federal Way. The celebration included live music, patriotic songs like "God Bless America," and Armed Forces Medley for the various branches of the military, and student patriotic essay winners Sabrina Banuelos and Olivia Weinburger. The councilman also led a special recognition to first responders and the U.S. military, along with the family of fallen Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu.

SEE PHOTOS

Click here to see photos from the June 9 ceremony.

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