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1981 was 32 years ago. I was 11 yrs old and in the 6 th grade. I attended a small "A" school in Northeast Texas. Our Jr. High campus was located on US Hwy 82 which is the largest road anywhere near my small hometown, then numbering 525 in population. My good friend and I had had been chosen to be "flag boys" my our principal. Each morning approx 5 min before class began we would go to the office to retrieve a neatly folded American and Texas flag that we had placed there the evening prior. We would then make our way to the flag pole which was on the outskirts of the playground and approximately 30 yds from the shoulder of the hwy. Each flag had 2 well worn grommets at the top and bottom of the proximal edge. The pole itself was constructed of 2 pieces of thin wall galvanized pipe protruding from a large trapezoid slab of concrete. The uppermost joint of pipe had a slightly smaller OD so that it was fit into the lower piece and collar welded about 2/3 the way to the top. This was the only area I remember seeing any rust. The apex of our flag pole was composed of what appeared to be a ball hitch. In retrospect, I suspect it was probably fabricated by the high school AG shop. At the top just below the ball hitch was a small pully through which a small white cotton rope was threaded. The rope ran down the poll and was tied to itself so that it made a continuous loop. The tail of the rope loop was "figure eighted" around a cleat made of sucker rod which had been welded to the pole about head high to an 11 yr old boy. Strategically located on the rope were 4 brass quick snaps which were inserted into the flag grommets. I can still remember the sound the brass snaps made as they contacted the hollow flag pole on ascent and descent. Whether or not the flag was attached made all the difference in the metallic tone. The story I want to tell took place on an ordinary weekday morning back in 1981, and centers around this flag pole.

As was routine, my friend and I had attached the American Flag, then the Texas Flag and were slowly pulling down on the rope taking the flags to the top of the pole. Suddenly, a west bound car pulled off on the shoulder of the road and a man got out of the driver's side. He then faced the ascending flags, braced himself at attention and stood there in a rigid salute until the flags came to full mast. I would like to omit this part, but in truth, my friend and I stood there trying to conceal our chuckles as this total stranger stood beside his car saluting the flags we had just erected. As soon as we tied off the rope, the man got back in his car and drove off.

I will never know who that man was, and he will never know how his patriotic act was forever burned into my memory. I will never forget the moment, and think of it every time I see the American Flag flying freely! What was seen as "funny" and "strange" by that 11 yr old kid is now seen as a proud display of Americanism by this 43 yr old father of 3.
 

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Thank you for sharing that. There are certain memories that at the time seem trivial or insignificant that later turn out to be profound.
I love the OP story, . . . but I also have one of those "memories".

We had pulled into the parking lot at Can Tho, . . . I was stuck with vehicle guard.

I looked over to the post, . . . there flew the US flag and the RVN flag side by side. They were up on a building, . . . and I had to look over some sort of wall to see them, . . .

It struck me then: "This is why we are here".

I can still see it.

May God bless,
Dwight
 
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