One of Angier’s most active civic organizations gathered Saturday along with local residents, businesses and elected officials to dedicate a field of flags in honor of individuals and groups who have served the community, state or nation.
The Angier Rotary Club held a dedication service for its Flags for Heroes display which stands in what was once an empty field just west of N.C. Highway 55 on the town’s north side.
Local individuals, businesses and civic organizations donated money for the project either in honor or memory of groups or individuals. Most of those honored served in the military or continue to serve as first responders as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flags will remain up for the rest of the month of October and will be removed following a closing prayer ceremony on Oct. 31.
Angier Rotary Club President Angie Ceroli said the purpose of the project is simple.
“Our goal is unity and positivity for our community,” Ceroli said. “Today, we honor our living heroes and our heroes who have become angels. For us, it all comes down to love and unity.”
Angier Mayor Bob Smith offered remarks for the event.
“We want to thank the Rotary Club for doing this for our community,” Smith said. “The heroes that we honor here laid the foundation for what we have done in the past in Angier, what we are doing in the present and what we will do in the future.”
The names of all those honored were read by several local leaders. Among those participating were Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats, North Carolina Sen. Jim Burgin and Angier Commissioner Alan Coats. Angier Commissioner Mike Hill was also on hand for the event.
Local youth played a predominant role in the event, with two young people providing stirring renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” and other patriotic tunes. Members of Boy Scout Troop 125 also participated in the event. One of the group’s leaders, Al Bain, was honored with a flag in the field.
A large crowd gathered for the event. Most were socially distanced and many wore masks as they enjoyed the festivities.
The Rotary Club used the event to highlight its other good works including its work at the international level to eliminate polio. Harnett County Rotarians have also worked to fight the pandemic including providing personal protective equipment for first responders.
The Angier Rotary Club meets the first and third Wednesday of each month, both in person and virtually. Anyone interested in the group can contact them through its Facebook page.
-Dunn Daily Record