The flagpole in front of our building in Stuart has been naked for three and three quarters years. When International Paper abandoned the place (or shortly thereafter) even the rope on the flagpole was removed. The electricians worked last week on getting a light in place on the ground to illuminate it for the night. Friday I had the plant's production manager arrange for a Town of Stuart bucket truck and operator to thread the new rope I had just purchased from the Tru-Value hardware here in town over the pulley at the top. (Another reason you gotta love a place like this, the operator was the Town Manager.) I then added the clips to the rope to prepare it to hold a flag for the first time in almost 4 years.
I could not bear the thought of that flagpole remaining naked on the fifth anniversary of my country's worst most incredible day. That thought meant another trip to the newly opened Wal-Mart just east of town in search of a flag for the newly re-commisioned flagpole. Unfortunately they only had the small 3'X 5' flags, which just would not do. Nevertheless I bought one, "just in case". I then called Doug, my lead electrician, who was taking a rare weekend off. I remembered him mentioning that he had a couple of flags that had flown above his ship while he was in the Navy. Sure enough, he had two. Both of which had flown from the mast of the USS Monongahela. No, not that one, but the latest incarnation of a ship with that name.
Monday September 11, 2006 dawned with an honored flag that had peviously flown over an American warship whipping proudly atop the flagpole at 120 Commerce Street, Stuart VA.
Oh yeah, and one other thing. September 11, 2006 was the first birthday of this blog.