To the editor:
The storms of late have taken a toll on Old Glory in my yard. The turbulent straight gales all but ripped the steel pole on which she flies up out of the foundation tube.
I looked out of the kitchen window at her, and I saw her worn wave whip in the blustery wind.
Her weathered stars and stripes, and tattered fly end, brought tears to my eyes. My symbol of hope and freedom had been frozen and frayed.
I could not lower her on my own, so I grabbed my keys and drove to the Vernon McGarity National Guard Armory, 212th Engineer Co., to get help.
I told the sympathetic female soldier who let me in what I had witnessed. When we talked to Staff Sgt. William Taylor about my dilemma, he offered to come to my home on his lunch break.
True to his word, he pulled in the driveway in less than a half hour. With reverence, he brought the old weather-beaten flag down. She was torn, but he did not crumple her up and toss her in his trunk. He knew how many fellow men and women had to die so she could fly.
He folded her and put her in his jacket, next to his bosom. He attached the snap hooks to the grommets on the new flag and raised the tall pole up. When the beautiful banner unfurled and waved in the breeze it was like a beacon of light from a lighthouse that guides sea weary sailors home. We stepped back and in unison, we gave her a salute.
I took his picture and asked his name because I want to thank him, but it is not just that. I feel the need to share the importance that many of us patriots place on our flag with your readers.
He made a point to tell me that he does not like PR. You see, he stands for all Americans who stand for our flag.
What he did that day is no small thing. I can smile now when I look out my kitchen window at Old Glory. So, thank you Sgt. Taylor. Thank for your service, and thank you for being true to your word.
If you have an old flag that you don’t know what to do with, please take it to the Vernon McGarity National Guard Armory, 212th Engineer Co., at 285 County Home Road, for a proper burial.
2420 County Home Road
EDITOR’S NOTE: Worn-out flags also can be placed in special Boy Scout boxes at veteran’s post homes or at businesses such as The Post-Intelligencer, for proper disposal.