It’s a reminder that our freedoms weren’t free

 It’s probably been close to a year ago when local veteran Bob Waugh was the guest at our Keosauqua Rotary program.  He spoke about the American Legion and mentioned that he was going to be installing flag poles as a fundraiser for the Legion over the coming months.  I didn’t think a lot of it at the time, but 1 by 1 I started to notice new flag poles popping up across Jefferson and Van Buren County over the course of the past year.  As flag poles popped up at a couple of my neighbor’s places, I started to feel like our place looked bare without the flag.  When Bob installed our family’s flagpole a few weeks ago, he told me it was number 78 that he had done, and he had several more yet to install.

I really appreciate Bob for the work he is doing.  Not only is his work aesthetically pleasing, but there was an educational element to the project at our house.  While installing our flagpole he took the time to discuss flag etiquette with our young daughter and teach her a few things she didn’t know about the flag.  He quizzed her about the Pledge of Allegiance and other general flag knowledge to get an idea of what she had already learned about the flag in school.  He made sure she was aware the flag was never to touch the ground.  He talked to her about keeping the flag lit at night.  Since our flag was installed shortly after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, he talked to her about why we were flying our flag at half-staff.

I’m often guilty of getting wrapped up in myself, my own life, and simply not taking the time to express enough appreciation for what others do for me.  This includes appreciation for our soldiers and veterans.  I don’t say thank you enough for their service and sacrifice and the freedoms that are afforded to me because of that service.  As we approach Veterans Day, I’m committed to doing a better job saying thank you moving forward.  That starts by saying thank you to Bob for the reminder that now stands in our front yard.  Every day as we come and go it’s a reminder that our freedoms weren’t free.

If you are interested in having Bob install a flag pole you can contact him at 641-919-0042.

By: Drew Johnson

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