Americanism at its finest, Part 1

Uniontown, PA

In August 2020, the Fayette County Veterans Organizations and elected officials improvised an American flag dedication due to the pandemic. The requirements went well. The state representative offices came together for the common goal of honoring our nation’s most sacred article of cloth. Community members from all over the state attended in old-fashioned style - that is, drive-thru style. A local radio show is Dog Tags - WMBS 590/101.1 FM or - providing the musical entertainment pre- and post- as well as the audio systems required for the dedication. The Dog Tags Radio Show is sponsored by Lafayette Post 51 in Uniontown, Pa.

Norman Zimmerman (Perryopolis, Post 752) joined the Fayette County Flag Committee in 1999. Due to membership aging and losses, the committee had stalled. Norman took over as president. He was helped by his trusted friend and adviser, fellow Legionnaire Chester Pinkney (Masontown, Post 423), who acted as his secretary. The cost for the entire project was estimated at $100,000. A $20,000 grant from the Eberly Foundation got the ball rolling. Upon contacting the United Veterans of Fayette County, many donations were made to help this project along. The Laural Highlands Visitor Association also helped with grants.

Norman Zimmerman was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, in 1963. He was stationed in France with the 83rd Engineer Battalion Company D. Their assignment was to repair runways for the Air Force. His job was chasing down parts all over France in his huge duce-and-a-half (often getting lost). He received an honorable discharge in 1963. Norman’s involvement in The American Legion started after learning that his local post was going through a revitalization. He became commander, holding that position for the next 30 years. He is the current commander, as well as a PUFL member of 33 years.

The original site for the flag was at the Penn State Fayette Campus. It remained there for 10 years and was in need of repair. A new site was chosen at the Uniontown Mall. This site seemed best suited for visibility due to its elevation along with U.S. Route 40 (National Road) and U.S. 119 intersecting close by. Overcoming many obstacles and legal issues they were ready to begin.

The 30 X 60 flag flying above Fayette County, Pa., for all to see this past Veterans Day.
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