Commemorative flags up for July 4th, main flag at half-staff to honor Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Clement, US Navy, a Massachusetts native
After almost 15 years -- with 14 of them being a constant battle -- I'm a little embarrassed to admit this morning was the first time I read the 2002 Annual Town Report entry for our illustrious Select Board, probably written by then Town Manager Barry Del Castilho.
Click to enlarge/read
Now it somewhat makes sense one of the (less flag hating) arguments used to keep the 29 commemorative flags down for a dozen of the 9/11 anniversaries since that stunning day: The misconception that the commemorative flags are "festive".
And obviously 9/11 is as far from festive as one can possible get.
But if the flags were always intended to be "festive" why was Memorial Day included in the original six days our Select Board came up with at that infamous meeting only 12 hours before two planes streaked out of clear blue sky, impaling the most prominent buildings in the New York skyline?
Because Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have laid down their lives to keep us free. So that too is not exactly "festive."
Main Street, USA
As we slowly slide closer and closer to the 15th anniversary of that still unbelievable morning, all it takes (for me at least) is a typical gorgeous sun splashed summer day, or perhaps the ringing of church bells, to momentarily bring me back to that horrible, horrible time.
But perhaps the presence of those flags -- now down to 21 -- will inspire some of the thousands of college aged youth flocking to our little town for the first time to pause for a brief moment, to ponder the joys of life we take for granted.
Something horrifically snatched from 3,000 innocent souls, who were simply going about their business on a late summer morning that started out ever so routine.