Town Hall Turret Saturday morning
You sagacious local types may have noticed the official town flag disappeared sometime on Friday afternoon, and as of this morning was not yet back in its perch. As usual the wind was to blame.
Of course this past weekend was peak time for all the returning clients to our lifeblood, our salvation, our reasons for being: UMass/Amherst, Amherst College and yes, even Hampshire College.
Amherst Town Flag
Although Amherst is 256 years old the official town flag only became a reality two years ago, but don't ask why wheat plays a major design role since it was never an Amherst thing even back in the good old pre higher education agrarian days.
The Chamber of Commerce picked up the tab for six of the flags ($88.48 each), with one going to hang in the Boston Statehouse Hall of Flags.
One of the many reasons I fight so hard for the 29 commemorative American flags to fly every 9/11 rather than every five years (on "milestone anniversaries"), is precisely because of our returning students.
To those of us who were old enough to drive on that stunning day no symbolic reminders are necessary.
But if you were age six and under -- as many thousands of incoming college freshman were -- nothing adequately captures the misery of those moments forever frozen in time, when those majestic towers of glass and steel vaporizing before your eyes.
While some in Amherst -- okay, maybe only one -- view the American flag as a symbol of "terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression," to the vast majority of us it represents hope.
An ideal worth trumpeting -- especially on the saddest anniversary in our recent history.