WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJLT) — With Flag Day and the 246th birthday of the United States Army falling on the same day, June 14, it can be a prideful time for many across the country.
“This is kind of the sneaky holiday, nobody really remembers it until they walk outside of their door and see the flags there and they remember that it’s flag day,” Mike Crocker with the Wichita Falls North Rotary Club said.
Between three Rotary Clubs in Wichita Falls, they put out about 2,000 flags, a tradition almost as classic as the American flag itself.
“We have generations currently who have no idea what it is like to look up at that American flag and have tears rolling down their eyes because that is the blood and sweat of 246 years of fighting for our freedom,” Major Francis Grice Chapter Regent of the Daughters of American Revolution Sonja Gandy said.
Gandy, daughter and granddaughter of veterans. is one of the many involved in bringing the Veterans Memorial Plaza to the Lake Wichita boat ramp.
“We’re going to get this built, we are, because our servicemen from Lawton on down deserve to have a place to come and remember what freedom is all about,” Gandy said.
Especially in a community like this, home of Sheppard Air Force Base and thousands of veterans.
Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee Chairman David Coleman wants to show them, and all future service members, that their service doesn’t go unnoticed.
“People that are coming back from conflict that are struggling can come here and find solace that their community is behind them, that the community appreciates their service and they are welcome here,” Coleman said.
They have the Vietnam veteran monument waiting to go up and as they pass the fundraising halfway mark, they are ready for a final push.
“I remember our very first donation was five dollars, and look what we have for five dollars,” Gandy said.
“If you have the heart for the this that the donation you make, no matter how small or large it is, makes a difference and so we appreciate that,” Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee member Steve Garner said.
For now, this empty spot next to the boat ramp awaits a plaza to honor veterans for generations to come.
If you want to help get the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza project complete, just click here!