Friday, December 3, 2010

Iowa IV

While driving through Iowa, I stopped in the town of Atlantic. I inquired about memorials there only to discover that they did not have one. While talking to some of the people there I was told about a project to restore the American Legion building in town. Begun in 1928, it had fallen into disrepair and a group of citizens decided to buy and restore it. While not exactly on topic I thought that it would be interesting to see what they were doing. I went over with a one of the guys and he showed me all through the building much of which is still under renovation. It is one of those great old buildings with engraved friezes around it, a gym/auditorium and lots of other rooms for meetings, large gatherings or whatever. In addition, a museum is being built in the building. You can see the frieze and the names of some famous American battles on the front of the building.

Another interesting note is that they decided to raise funds by selling "dog tags"! These larger than life versions are kept in the building and depending on how much one donates they are designated a rank. Rank goes from Private ($50.00) all the way to General($5000.00) and one can move up or get promotions by donating more over time! I was impressed by how many have joined the ranks and that there are 7 Generals!

If you would like to participate, contact

A.R.I.S.E. (a 502 C3 non-profit)
P.O. box #1
Atlantic, Iowa 50032

In a small room in the basement, he showed me what I'll call a Flag room. It turns out that this man was an upholsterer for his adult life and he had taken on the responsibility of caring for the flags that are left by citizens at a drop off at the site. He repairs and restores those that he can and sees to it that the others are properly disposed of in a ceremony held once a year. the saved flags are used throughout the town and at funerals, as appropriate.

While we had been talking I had told him about my joining Patriot Guard and our efforts to protect grieving families from these nut case protestors that sometimes show up at the fumerals of theor loved ones who have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. He insisted that I take one of the flags that he had restored to use in this effort. Again, I saw thanks! I couldn't be prouder than to have this flag!

Read more about Patriot Guard, here;

Later, he asked me if I had seen "Freedom Rock"? I was not familiar with it so he gave me directions. I will tell the story and post some pics in the next post. It is a remarkable story, one of my favorites, don't miss it.

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