The youngest of the crew was strapping into his safety harness, and when the ladder, now extended all four sections out, at about a 60* angle, he virtually scrambled up, carrying with him a screwdriver, a pliers and a can of WD40. He was prepared!


One project in support of the American flag

Madison, WI

One of the pillars of The American Legion is Americanism - those actions taken by veterans to keep in the foremost minds of the American people to retain the faith, as represented by our American flag. Here is an example of American Legion Post 501 in keeping that faith.

It was the start of a normal day; I was assisting in preparing the clubhouse room of Post 501 for the next day's Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, when a phone call took me away from setting tables with salt, pepper, sugar and jelly condiments. While several other Legionnaires continued to move forward in preparation for the next day's event, I picked up the clamoring phone. The caller was the engineer for a hotel located on the far west side of Madison, and early on he let me know that they needed our Legion post assistance. He mentioned two concerns; could we assist? First, the hotel had three American flags that had seen their useful function come to an end. Could we provide proper disposal? "Of course, we have a fine program for that; where are they, and when could we come to pick them up?" was my response. He provided the address of the hotel, that he was available now, and I then indicated that I could be over within the hour to pick up the flags.

"What is your second need?" I inquired. He sheepishly indicated that while trying to raise their newly purchased American flag it got stuck about 10 feet up the pole. It appears that the lanyard shifted off the pulley at the flagpole top due to the current high winds. "How high is your flagpole?" He stated it was 44 feet to the top! OH! OH! I thought - we don't have any lumber or steeple jacks in our Post 501 membership. After verifying that the pole was not telescoping, or hinged in order to allow the top of the pole to drop down to a reasonable height, I realized that his problem was beyond Post 501's ability to resolve.

But I had a thought - Why not contact the local fire station? They may have a ladder truck sitting within the firehouse currently unattended. Since the fire folks are the first responders, just maybe they might be willing and able to help. Mission accomplished! No injuries, no loss of life - just an excellent result.

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