Days that are designated for certain patriotic observances are scattered throughout the year, but Americans find themselves in the middle of a particularly significant cluster of such occasions as the official first day of summer approaches.

It started with Memorial Day, observed this year on May 25, and continues through the festivities of Independence Day on July 4. In between, the nation also pauses to remember D-Day in Europe during World War II on June 6, and Flag Day, which is marked today and every June 14. Many Americans will also include June 19, Juneteenth, as a time to celebrate freedom.

Liberty is the environment in which we live, and just as we take the air we breathe for granted, Americans often take the freedoms we enjoy as a given. The right to vote, the right to worship — or not worship — as we choose and the right to move within our country are fundamental to our existence. Yet we have inherited such rights and privileges from previous generations who sacrificed and often died so they would be preserved for us to enjoy. And each generation is called upon to do its part, in some way, to pass those freedoms along to the next.

All these Americans have served their country under the banner of the U.S. flag, which is the focus of today’s holiday. Part of this annual observance has traditionally been a reminder of how federal codes specific the flag should be handled by those who respect it. As a part of that effort, flag retirement services are often scheduled for this particular day.

The flag, of course, is a symbol of what’s important in our shared national experience. It flies proudly over our Declaration of Independence, our unique and inspired U.S. Constitution, the men and women who serve in its military branches and the people who live here because of the opportunities and liberties they enjoy.

Properly handling and displaying the flag, and retiring it when the time comes, within the specified requirements, is one way to show respect. But can also show their understanding of what the flag symbolizes by participating in the governmental process, working however feasible to guard freedoms of others and supporting the men and women who have volunteered to protect this nation with their lives.

Brownwood Bulletin