For many Baltimoreans the American Flag holds a special meaning because of the historic connections between our city and The Stars and Stripes: connections such as the War of 1812, Fort McHenry, the “Star-Spangled Banner” and of course because of the famous local seamstress who made the great garrison flag that inspired the national anthem, Mary Pickersgill. Since Mary Pickersgill is not just the namesake of Pickersgill Retirement Community but also a founding board member of our organization, we’ve come to think of the American Flag as our icon, and because of this, here at Pickersgill, we take every opportunity to celebrate our flag and its symbolism.
Flag Day, June 14, commemorates the adoption of the Flag of the United States (aka the American Flag) which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the 2nd Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. June 14 is an important day at Pickersgill Retirement Community. On Flag Day we invite family, friends, neighbors and elected officials to honor our resident veterans and to celebrate with us. This year we honored over 40 men and women living at Pickersgill who served in the United States Armed Forces. At our celebration residents and guests heard remarks from Councilman David Marks, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the “Star-Spangled Banner,” enjoyed refreshments and were treated to patriotic songs and classic American harmonies performed by both the Pickersgill Singers and Pianist/Vocalist Dick Smith.
Independence Day, July 4 As celebrations took place in cities and towns across the country to mark our nation’s birthday, residents were doing the same at Pickersgill. On a day known for picnics and barbeques Pickersgill residents and their guests dined cookout style. The traditional menu for the fourth: hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, apple pie and ice cream was served as a buffet in the Independent Living Dining Room. A lively concert in the Willard Auditorium performed by Two for the Show featured numerous patriotic standards. One resident remarked that it was her “favorite concert of the year.” Some residents ventured out to attend fireworks displays with their families at local venues while residents in who preferred to stay in the air conditioning enjoyed watching the Inner Harbor Fireworks live on widescreen TVs.
Flags on display! Pickersgill Retirement Community is lucky to have a friend named Bob Knowles. Twelve years ago, to help Pickersgill Retirement Community, Mr. Knowles set up a special display– flags from his private collection. Knowles’ flag display quickly became a much-loved annual event. Each year, Mr. Knowles goes through his flag collection – which consists of more than 600 flags – and carefully chooses pieces to display at Pickersgill.
The display, which features flags from all over the world, is so massive that it covers the entire auditorium at Pickersgill as well as the main hallway, creating a walkthrough exhibit for residents and their families. “I’m very thankful to Pickersgill and glad that my flag display has become a tradition,” Knowles said.
Knowles, an avid flag collector since the age of 14, became interested in Pickersgill when looking for a retirement community for his mother in the summer of 2004. After looking at several different communities; Knowles found that Pickersgill was “the nicest one.” During a meeting between Knowles, his mother, and Pickersgill staff, Knowles mentioned that if his mother decided to live at Pickersgill, he would do a flag show for the community. Continue reading