People across Central Georgia celebrated Flag Day on Friday. 

Veterans from World War II to now gathered at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin for a special ceremony.

It included an official flag raising by the Dublin VA Police Department Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem. For many of these veterans, the flag isn't a physical thing -- it's a symbol representing the freedoms they defended.

“It's important to me because as a Prisoner of War, you don't have that freedom. I love my country. I love my flag,” said William Freeman, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.

Freeman said he was imprisoned for 933 days between 1951-53. Though he is 92 years old, he stood strong and proud at Friday’s ceremony.

“I’m getting pretty old and weak, but I always try to stand up to the flag because it’s important to me and important to my friends who died in Korea,” Freeman said.

The Dublin VA says they host this ceremony every year since the flag is the symbol of each veterans' service to this country.

“I know the veterans that come here just want to be remembered. The flag is a symbol of their service. It’s a symbol that’s been carried down for the last 240 years,” said Scott Whittington, the public affairs officer at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center. “The flag means a lot to a lot of us and it is what we have in common among all Americans. It’s one day we pull aside to honor our flag, honor our veterans and their service and honor anyone who works for this flag."

The Dublin VA says they were happy to see the community support at the ceremony and hope the tradition continues for future generations.


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