PORTERVILLE, California / [
Porterville Recorder / Community / June 15, 2009
By Alex K.W. Schultz, The Porterville Recorder
Tibor Machan doesn’t scoff at the idea of liberty.
He’s worked too hard to do so.
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” Machan said. “You can never
just sit on your laurels and expect it to be available.”
Machan was the guest speaker during Sunday’s 28th Annual Flag Day
The 70-year-old Machan, who was smuggled across the Iron Curtain from
communist Hungary in October 1953, spoke of the American people’s
“The point of the American Republic is you and I are free to live our own
lives,” said Machan, who taught philosophy from 1986 to 1996 at Auburn
University in Montgomery, Ala.
“This is so unusual, considering the history of American politics.”
Machan said he was inspired to come to the U.S. by reading American novels.
The current Chapman University professor lived in Munich, Germany, for
three years before landing in America in September 1956 when he was 17
He now knows the value of freedom.
“You always have to go and guard against those who want to rob you of the
liberty for various, marvelous or lousy goals,” he said. “It makes no
difference what the goals are. Liberty is the most important thing in a
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The one-year-old flag at Save Mart was retired Sunday and replaced by new
stars and stripes. This year’s Old Glory was donated by Save Mart
Supermarkets and Smith Enterprises, Save Mart Manager Rick Cutler said.
Porterville Elks Lodge representatives raised the new flag while Yvonne
Fiori sang the national anthem and hundreds of red, white and blue
balloons were released into the sky.
“It looks real nice, doesn’t it?” master of ceremonies Ed Flory said to
the crowd as Old Glory danced in the wind.
American Legion Post 20 members burned the old flag. A rifle salute was
presented and followed by Denver Tate’s playing of “Taps.”
“This is our town,” Mayor Cameron Hamilton said. “This is what we’re
Hamilton was presented the Community Service Award by Alta Mira Chapter,
Daughters of the American Revolution for “serving this community
“To me, Flag Day and Veterans Day are probably the most premier things we
do in Porterville,” Hamilton said. “These people who come out and gather
for this and Veterans Day are doing it because we love our country and the
people who serve.”
Robert and Josie Carabay attended the celebration with their three
granddaughters: Larissa Chavez, 13, Mia Carabay, 5, and Sofeeya Carabay, 4.
“They put on a real good program,” Robert Carabay said. “They had a real
good crowd, too.”
Josie Carabay echoed her husband’s sentiments.
“I think this event is important to the community,” she said, “because we
need to respect our flag.” [rc]
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