POMEROY, Ohio — New flags and flag poles were in place at the Bridge of Honor just in time for Memorial Day.
The original flag poles and flags were placed in 2012 as the Eagle Scout project by Marshall Aanestad.
The project by Marshall Aanestad was the placement of eight flags and flag poles in the open grassy area at the entrance to the Bridge of Honor in Pomeroy. Five of the flags represent the individual branches of the military service groups, one flag is for the POW/MIA, one flag is the State of Ohio Flag, and the eighth is the American Flag.
In becoming an Eagle Scout, Aanestad followed in the footsteps of his father, Erik Aanestad, who was an Eagle Scout.
Erik Aanestad was the Scout Master for Troop 235 prior to his passing in 2015. Ten to twelve Eagle Scout projects were completed by the Troop under his leadership, with the project by Marshall Aanestad as one of the first.
Marshall’s mother, Jane Ann, explained that after an Eagle Scout project is completed it is turned over to an organization or person. In this case, the project was turned over to Drew Webster American Legion Post 39 for continued care. They have been caring for the flags, including placing new ones when needed since that time.
In March of this year, high winds flattened some of the poles which were in place, requiring replacements of those original poles.
Jane Ann Aanestad said that given the unforeseen expense of replacing the flag poles, she took the steps to have the new one-piece poles put in place. The previous poles had been segmented, meaning these should be sturdier in high winds. In addition to the poles, Aanestad donated a new set of flags to be placed at a later date.
Steve VanMeter of Post 39 stated that the flags are typically replaced twice a year depending on wear.
In addition to the new poles, the hooks on the poles, which hold the ropes in place to raise and lower the flags, have been raised as to make it more difficult for possible vandalism or theft of flags. This follows incidents in 2017 in which the flags were stolen from the poles.
American Legion Post 39 maintains a Flag Fund which is used to fund the upkeep and replacement of the flags at the Bridge of Honor and other locations, and the purchase of new flags. Donations are accepted by the legion to benefit this fund. Donations may be sent to Drew Webster Post 39, PO Box 401, Pomeroy, Ohio 45769.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.