Livermore Valley Celebrates Flag Day at Concannon Vineyard

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Community and civic leaders, elected officials, military families and citizens participated in a Flag Day ceremony today, held at Concannon Vineyard, the first formally organized event on behalf of the entire Livermore community.

This flag we proudly give to Jim Concannon today, flew high in Iraq during some of the worst fighting of the current war, and is a tribute to the men and women who serve our country with distinction and honor.

Community and civic leaders, elected officials, military families and citizens participated in a Flag Day ceremony today, held at Concannon Vineyard, the first formally organized event on behalf of the entire Livermore community. Livermore Vice Mayor John Marchand presided at the ceremony which was held in front of the historic flag pole, originally erected by Captain Joseph Concannon, son of the founder of the historic winery, who served in both the nation’s First Cavalry and the Army with General John Pershing and Lieutenant George Patton seventy-two years ago.

His son, Jim Concannon, third generation vintner, who served in the Korean war, was presented with a flag that flew during the recent Iraq conflict in honor of the family’s enduring commitment to military and community service and contributions to the Livermore Valley and California wine industry.

The ceremony included a special benediction by Rev. Deacon Dave Rezendes, St. Michael’s Church, and the Retiring of Colors by Scout Troops #903, under the leadership of Scoutmaster Ken Moore. Marilyn Carter, Livermore Veterans Foundation and City of Livermore Community Representative for Military Support, said, “This flag we proudly give to Jim Concannon today, flew high in Iraq during some of the worst fighting of the current war, and is a tribute to the men and women who serve our country with distinction and honor. It flew over FOB (forward operating base) Warrior and was sent to us by Command Seargent Major Montour.”

“Our family has always lived by three things: Family, God, and Country. As individuals and a country, we should be very proud of our service men and women, who are presently serving our country in the name of freedom,” said Jim Concannon.

At the afternoon ceremony, Vice Mayor Marchand said, "It's a great moment for Livermore, the Concannon Winery and our country to have this precious day to honor our flag and its meaning. Happily the flag flies true and proud here in Livermore at this historic winery."

Members of the Ladies Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., Operation S.A.M (Supporting All Military), Daughters of the American Revolution and American Legion were in attendance among others.

Jim Concannon also announced that Captain Joe’s Reserve Petite Sirah, a wine created in 2007 as a special tribute to his vintner/military father and currently only available in the Concannon Tasting Room will be released to select U.S. markets. "Most of this blend was aged in handpicked barrels, which produced a serious yet approachable Petite Sirah with notes of blackberry, blueberry pie, pepper and spice,” said Julian Halasz, winemaker for the Concannon Reserve program.

About Concannon Vineyard
With four generations of family involvement, Concannon 's pioneering contributions to California winemaking and viticulture have built a landmark winery with an enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wines proudly served on American tables for over 128 years. Founder of America's first Petite Sirah, Concannon Vineyard also introduced Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11, which provided the backbone of Napa Valley's Cabernet resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s. The historic winery earned organic certification in 2010 and preserves an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development through its new Conservancy tier of critically acclaimed wines. For additional information please visit: concannonvineyard.

Concannon Heritage of Military Service
The Concannon family has had a noteworthy military history.
Joseph Concannon Sr., (1884-1965) - A tribute by Jim Concannon
“My father Joseph Concannon was born in 1884, as one of the ten children born to James and Ellen Concannon. While his four brothers graduated from college, Dad chose military service. In 1907, he enlisted in the U. S. Cavalry as a Private. By 1913, he had moved up to the rank of Captain in the regular Army. His Lieutenant was George Patton (eventually General Patton) and Dad's commanding officer was General John Pershing (the only Commander to hold the title "Commander of the Armies" who presided over both Army and Navy).
Dad returned home after his years in the service to operate Concannon Vineyard, a winery that his father had established in 1883. Within a few years he purchased the interests of his brothers and sisters. Although the winery was now his main concern, his service to his country was also very important. Each Christmas a case of wine would be shipped to General Pershing and the family has kept those letters of gratitude sent to Dad.
"In 1939, as the Depression was ending and war was looming, Dad had a large 100-foot flag pole built at the entrance of the winery. Livermore was a very small town at that time, and he made this dedication very special; a detachment of service men were there for the dedication, as well as a band, and the whole town was invited for the reception that followed. Dad raised the flag every day, continuing to do so until shortly before he died. I then took over the job for many years. He was also the only official civilian recruiter in Livermore Valley for the armed services in the 1930s and 1940s. Dad always went by "Captain Joe." He hosted enlisted men as well as the top Admirals and Generals. My brother Joseph Jr. was in the Air Force, and I was in the Army during the Korean War. Our family has always lived by three things: "Family, God, and Country." As individuals and a country, we should be very proud of our servicemen and women, who are presently serving our country in the name of freedom.”

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Patricia Schneider

Sheila Thomas
PSA for Concannon Vineyard
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