Janik keeps Flag Day flying right where it all started

At age 84, longtime organizer says nothing but mortality will stop him from staging Waubeka celebration set for Sunday

FLAG DAY ORGANIZER Jack Janik stood beside a bust of Bernard Cigrand, who was the father of Flag Day. This year’s celebration will take place on Sunday, June 10, at the National Flag Day Foundation Americanism Center in Waubeka. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

For longtime Flag Day organizer Jack Janik, honoring the American Flag is a source of pride for Waubeka.

“It’s the symbol of our great country,” he said. “It’s remarkable to believe Flag Day originated here all the way back in 1855.”

Janik has been organizing the event, which takes place on the second Sunday of June, for more than 20 years.

The 84-year-old said nothing is going to stop him from throwing one of the greatest celebrations in the area.

“We do this to honor all of the troops and people who served our country,” he said. “I won’t stop doing this until I’m dead.”

This year’s celebration in Waubeka will be held Sunday, June 10.

Festivities will open with a patriotic program at 11:30 a.m. on the grounds of the National Flag Day Foundation Americanism Center, 4200 Valley View Dr. 

It includes a ceremonial raising of the American flag, singing of the national anthem, and recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and presidential proclamation. Special recognitions will be awarded, with musical salutes to the Armed Forces and military fly-overs to follow. 

The traditional Flag Day parade, which will be led by Ozaukee County Sheriff and veteran Jim Johnson, will start at 1:30 p.m.

The parade will feature more than 100 units, including veterans groups, Scouts, equestrian riders, area high school bands, color guards, pipe and drum units, area fire departments, 4-H clubs, and civic and private floats.

This year’s procession will include a tribute to those who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Laura Garofalo, an ensign for the U.S. Coast Guard who is the granddaughter of the late John Feltes, a longtime Flag Day supporter, will be featured in the parade.  

Gov. Scott Walker and Miss Wisconsin McKenna Collins will also be in the parade.

After the parade, the University of Wisconsin Marching Band will perform its popular 5th Quarter medley.

At 3 p.m., Family Day activities will begin with games and prizes for children, including a bungee swing, as well as hayrides and live music. 

The day concludes with an illuminated American flag and fireworks at dusk. 

“It takes a lot of people, time and effort to put this together,” Janik said. “In God we trust.”

He added the future of Flag Day is in good hands because his son David, who is president of the National Flag Day Foundation, will keep the spirit of event alive and well for years to come.

“As long as the flag is hanging over our heads, there will always be a Flag Day here,” Janik said.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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