In this June 14, 2021, file photo, an American Flag is lighted by the sun on Flag Day at Crest Lake Park in Clearwater, Florida. Credit: Chris Urso / Tampa Bay Times via AP

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to

There have always been symbols of America. Some are enduring — the bald eagle, the flag, the Statue of Liberty — representing independence and freedom. Others have been more ephemeral but remain in the American consciousness as symbols: the Pony Express, the railroad, the steamboat — all suggestive of movement, of expansion, of entrepreneurship and creativity, of growth and opportunity. Then there’s the automobile: symbol of the country’s vibrant manufacturing, as well as the role it played in the birth and explosive spread of the suburbs. The ability of Americans to buy a house in the suburbs eventually led to the two-car garage — a symbol of rising standards of living.

I would like to suggest a contemporary new symbol: the self-storage facility. A symbol of the rise of living standards to the point of overflowing. The home and the two-car garage were not sufficient to hold all our stuff — we needed an extra little house to handle it all. Is there another business as ubiquitous as the self-storage facility?

Gloria Vollmers