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Washington State Patriotic Day

Passing down the tradition of patriotism to younger generations

Photo credit: Gary Lott

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(Photo: The 2020 Washington State Patriotic Day & Massing of the Colors was held in Tacoma at Stadium High School Saturday, Feb. 22.  This event provides an opportunity for community members, military members and more to show off their patriotism and to become better educated on the importance of the military and showing support towards those who sacrifice it all for this nation’s freedoms.)

American flags flying proud were aplenty inside the Stadium High School gymnasium in Tacoma Feb. 22 for this year's Washington State Patriotic Day & Massing of the Colors celebration.

"As a retired general, first I am a citizen of the United States of America," said retired Maj. Gen. John A. Hemphill, a Steilacoom resident and community leader.  "Washington State Patriotic Day is the only community annual event devoted to the renewing and teaching of patriotism to the United States of America for the continuation of the freedoms guaranteed by our country's constitution."

The 2020 Washington State Patriotic Day annual event featured live music from military bands; a keynote presentation from Washington National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty; and numerous participation awards given for support of veterans.

According to the Washington State Patriotic Day website, "Webster's New World Dictionary defines a patriot as ‘a person who loves and loyally and zealously supports his own country.' For you, that country should be the United States of America whose flag, known with affection as ‘Old Glory,' is recognized worldwide as a beacon of freedom and greatness."

"Youth are in the learning years in preparing for stewardship of our country," added retired Maj. Gen. Hemphill. "Patriotism for the United States of America must be included in that stewardship." 

With the goal of spreading and sharing patriotism amongst the community and within younger civil organizations, Washington State Patriotic Day provides an environment for military-supporting adults to better educate youth in the importance of patriotism, as well as to expand their own sense of patriotism.

"Patriotism for the United States of America has to override individual attitudes in such as politics, religion and personal relationships for our country to provide the freedom for these and other features that we hold dear to survive," according to the Washington State Patriotic Day website.

Showing patriotism is as simple as just showing up.

The annual Washington State Patriotic Day offers two ways toparticipate with this annual event:

1. BE A SPECTATOR: Seated in chairs on the floor or in the stands.

2. PARTICIPATE AS A FLAG UNIT: In the parade and assembly of flags:

"We want everyone that attends to simply come to review your patriotism and to have your presence and actions absorbed into the youths' patriotic education," said retired Maj. Gen. Hemphill.

2020 Washington State Patriotic Day Participation Winners:


  • American Legion Post 53 Cub Scout Pack 472
  • Lakewood Cub Scout Pack 412
  • Lakewood Cub Scout Pack 32

High School

  • Lincoln Army Junior ROTC
  • Spanaway Lake Navy Junior ROTC
  • Graham-Kapowsin Army Junior ROTC


  • The Refuge Olympia Mountain Retreat & Conference Center
  • Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution - Fife & Drum Corps
  • Kiwanis of Steilacoom

To get involved with next year's event or to learn more about this event, please visit:

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