Reflections on Flag Day

By Guest Writer - June 12, 2020

When asked to write a brief, personal message about the importance of our Nation’s flag to me, I felt honored by and appreciative of the opportunity.  After all, June 14th, Flag Day, a national observance to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777, also marks the birthday of our Nation’s Army (June 14th, 1775).  For a retired Soldier, whose Army combat uniform proudly displayed the American flag, in peace, and in war, this request afforded me a chance to reflect.

portrait of blockquote author

"For a retired Soldier, whose Army combat uniform proudly displayed the American flag, in peace, and in war, this request afforded me a chance to reflect."

- Dan Hodne, Senior Strategic Planning Advisor, Moffitt Cancer Center

I found it helpful to draw upon the wisdom and insightful words of an American author, poet, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou.  Maya, the recipient of numerous honors and awards, to include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, advised, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Her words helped me view the importance of our Nation’s flag, and its meaning to me, as less about definitions and descriptions, and more about personal feelings and emotions. 

From this lens, when I see our Nation’s flag, it makes me feel: 

Inspired. 

Inspired by its resilience and strength.  Inspired by its ability to weather the most difficult of battles, challenging of times, and hazardous of storms, all to the end of enabling our shared creation of a more positive future for all of us, as Americans.  

Proud.

Proud of the values, principles, and ideals it represents, and the freedoms it affords.  Our service members take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not an individual, a religion, or an ideology, to the end of safeguarding individual liberties and national interests for all of us, as Americans. 

Grateful.

Grateful for the opportunity to have served under it, alongside my fellow Soldiers, feeling the strength, security, and camaraderie of my brothers and sisters in arms, of all races, all backgrounds, and all walks of life, as we worked closely together to achieve common goals;  and...

Grateful, for the love that I believe it has for all of us, as Americans.


This article was written by Dan Hodne, Moffitt’s Senior Strategic Planning Advisor, who directly supports the Chief Strategy Officer in the design, development, and implementation of Moffitt’s Strategic Plan; array of Support Plans; and governance activities.  Prior to joining Moffitt, he served as an Army Special Forces (“Green Beret”) Officer, retiring at the rank of Colonel after a military career that spanned over 25 years.

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