Yesterday, our nation celebrated Flag Day. Another wonderful moment to celebrate our country and all that is great about living in the United States of America. Our flag is a great symbol of our freedom, and a strong remembrance of those men and women who gave their lives for it, as well as those who are still protecting our freedoms today.

We display the flag proudly in this country, especially as summer kicks into high gear. The flags line the Main Streets of our towns. It's waved with pride in parades throughout the summer. And it's saluted and sung to during ballgames and other community gatherings.

So we hope everyone got a chance to partake in their local Flag Day celebration yesterday.

Our industry certainly takes pride in the freedoms that flag has afforded our companies.

We're an industry whose products were invented right here in America, by entrepreneurs in small-town shops (actually drug stores/fountain shops). Still today, our soft drinks and other products are made here in America by American workers. And our companies are still American owned and headquartered. We like to say our products are American made by workers who are American paid.

We're proud of that because our industry stands in stark contrast to many other "American" industries that are shipping jobs and manufacturing overseas right now or are being bought by foreign companies during these tough economic times. Our industry has truly stood the test of time and become an All-American industry.

We're also proud that our companies are part of communities large and small, literally reaching into every corner of America. There's probably not a town in America where you can't get a non-alcoholic beverage, or where you don't see one of our companies' trucks rolling into town each day or week.

We have 220,000 employees who stretch across this great country. They have jobs, often union, with good pay and good health benefits. And they take great pride in the products they make and all the fun those products will help enhance - whether family picnics, ball games or just quiet summer nights on the front porch swing. Importantly, our employees are integral parts of their communities, giving back and helping to make their hometowns as strong as they can be.

So yes, we're proudly waving the Stars and Stripes ourselves this week - and we do so throughout the year. Because we're honored and privileged to be part of this great country. We're using the word "proud" quite a bit in this blog - but there's no better word to describe how we feel serving our neighbors and our communities for more than 100 years now.

Thank you. And God Bless America.