About 30 people gathered to take part in a special flag raising ceremony held Saturday afternoon on property located in front of the Walgreens Pharmacy at the corner of W. Karsch Boulevard and N. Potosi Street in Farmington.
The service was held under the auspices of Farmington VFW Post 5896 to recognize the first flag raising at the city flagpole's new location. Its previous location was next to Applebee's Grill & Bar.
VFW Post Commander Bud Davis addressed the crowd before the American flag was raised, saying, "On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and all veterans here in this community, I would like to thank the city of Farmington, I would like to thank the donors for showing continuing support of veterans, showing their patriotism and what we stand for.
"We have shed blood, lost brothers and sisters over these colors. It's a lot more than just a piece of cloth to us. For you to always support us and recognizing our sacrifices — what we've done — it's an honor to be here and it's an honor to be a member of this community. For that, I thank you."
Following a prayer given by the post chaplain, the flag was raised by a team made up of VFW members, Farmington Fire Department first responders and Farmington High School JROTC cadets to the strains of the National Anthem.
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"This is a great day," said Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe. "It's a beautiful day. I want to thank Lloyd and Ramona Jones of the R.L. Jones Company for contributing the easement to install the sign on their property; Jim Gibson of Politte Ready Mix for donating the concrete materials; Bill Giessing and Tony Thomas of Brockmiller Construction for installing and finishing the concrete, Eddie Wann and the city electric crew for supervising the installation of the lights and flagpole; Farmington Fire Chief Todd Mecey for working with the flagpole supplier to spec and order the pole; Bud Davis and the VFW for arranging the ceremony; and City Administrator Greg Beavers and the Farmington City Council for agreeing to fund the new flagpole. Thank you very much. This is one heck of a day."
The mayor also noted the attendance of councilmen Tom Joyce, Greg Hampton and Dennis Robinson at the ceremony, as well as offered thanks to the city fire department that will be insuring the flag is replaced whenever necessary.
Ramona Jones explained what the flag raising ceremony meant to both her and her husband, Lloyd, on whose land the flagpole stands.
"We worked with the city of Farmington and the mayor to create an easement for the flagpole," she said. "Lloyd and I are both thrilled to have been able to help in some way to have this magnificent flagpole and flag for the city of Farmington, which I think is going to be a great landmark. We also appreciate all of our veterans that have served and sacrificed for our country."