In an election year, conversations and interactions between people with different points of view can get divisive.
On Labor Day morning, an effort was made to bring the community together.
Residents of Craig, American Legion Post 62 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 gathered in Alice Pleasant Park in the 500 block of Yampa Avenue to raise an American flag on the new flag pole in the park. The flag now will fly at all downtown city events.
City Councilman Ray Beck got the idea for the flag pole at this year’s Grand Olde West Days, when he noticed the VFW using cement buckets to help raise a flag at the event.
“I was standing here taking in the events that day and we noticed the veterans brought a portable flag pole,” Beck said. “They set it up in the street to do their presentation and I thought, ‘you know, we can do better than that.’”
Beck took the idea to the City Council and it was approved. Ever since, he has worked with the VFW, City of Craig Parks and Recreation and the city council to get the flag in position to go up on Labor Day.
During his introduction speech at the flag dedication, Beck spoke about the flag’s meaning:
“The American flag represents many things to many people, but the one thing we all agree on is, it represents our freedom,” he said. “Freedom we owe to our military men and women across this great nation.”
Beck believes this will make a difference at future community events.
“We have a lot of events downtown,” he said. “This is significant in that this is not just about the flag and flag poll. It’s about bringing community together. I think this is a really good step toward that.”
After the speech, members of the VFW and American Legion in Craig raised the flag. Jim Meineke, post-surgeon for VFW, said this was an important step for the community.
“It’s very crucial that we respect the flag and represent it at our social and community events,” Meineke said. “We thank the community of Craig for its support.”
Joe Bird, another city councilman involved with the project, said having a flag downtown would be a great thing for Craig, especially in this location.
“What (the flag) represents and for the location of it in Alice Pleasant Park and what she represented here, I think it couldn’t be in a better spot,” Bird said.
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.