Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Smothered by the American flag

I was smothered in patriotism at the Steele County Free Fair last week.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been caught showing his love for America by embracing the American flag. I got a little wrapped up in America on opening day of the fair.

I was part of the Blooming Prairie Honor Guard that participated in opening ceremonies of the Steele County Free Fair last week.

As we waited patiently in our vehicles a few blocks away from the west entrance of the fairgrounds, we listened intently and watched our telephone radar screens to monitor incoming storms. Owatonna servicemen told us that the ceremony would be delayed a half hour until 5:30 p.m.

"It's going to slide right by us," said Legionnaire Bob Ingvalson as he watched the rain clouds move away.

The "all-clear" was given and we exited our vehicles to line up for the march toward the Fair Square Stage.

Two riflemen were chosen, the POW flag was assigned as was the Legion flag. That left one flag, the American flag. I volunteered to carry it.

"Just anchor it in your belly button and you will be OK," said Ken Trom as he walked alongside of me.

All went well until a strong breeze blew the flag right over my head. I floundered briefly, not being able to see my feet below. Twisting the flag pole a bit helped clear my vision.

The "lights out," caused by an energetic flag, happened twice more.

"We're almost there," encouraged Trom.

Seeing the crowd by the Fair Square stage, I knew I was almost home free. I had to negotiate three steps and did so without losing my balance.

The whole experience was inspiring, knowing that I was carrying the symbol of our nation, the American flag. Even with it draped over my head on occasion, I was able to complete my honor and duty.

It has been a real honor and a privilege to be part of the Blooming Prairie Honor Guard. We heard many "thank yous" after arriving on stage and this makes it all worthwhile.

Old Glory waves proudly, and I wavered with it on what turned out to be a wonderful day at the fair.

 

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