History of Fly the Flag High      

 Fly the Flag High, the realization of a childhood dream, is a Flag Day celebration of our military, our veterans, and our country.

Fly the Flag High:  What It Is

        On Flag Day, June 14, 2018, the first Fly the Flag High was held.   One hundred thirty-eight volunteers  - from a ten year old Boy Scout to an eighty year old Korean War veteran - held fluttering U.S. flags from 8 am to 9 am on the Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot  (Centennial) Memorial Bridge.  In 2019, despite flooding and the overcast weather, over ninety individuals proudly held flags high above the Mississippi River.


The Story of Behind Fly the Flag High

     In the late 1960's, Walter Cronkite nightly reported bombings of Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Karen Buchanan, a young child watching the frightening news, peppered her parents with questions like, "If we can bomb them, how come they can't bomb us?"


           Her parents reassured her that our country had numerous safeguards in place. One of these, however,  puzzled Karen.  People, literally strangers,would sacrifice their lives for her?   This realization started her lifelong respect and appreciation for our military and our veterans.  Some day, she thought, that respect and appreciation will  be known.  


           In 2017, next to her at a traffic light,  some young kids were cruising and drinking sodas.  flag fluttered from their rear view mirror. For some reason, an idea clicked in Karen's mind.  She knew how she could  celebrate our military, our veterans,and our country.  She would begin a grass roots campaign to start a celebration on Flag Day to celebrate the veterans, the military, and our country. 


  Numerous individuals, businesses, and groups contributed to the success of Fly the Flag high by giving time, money, and energy. 

Thanks to the following for making a dream come true


          --    Veteran Mark McQuate, who helped evolve an idea                       into Fly the Flag High  

          --    Representative Mike Halpin, who helped clear the                         way for Fly the Flag High to happen

          --    US Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA) who 

                  supported FTFH and its mission

          --    Committee members:  Steve Castrey, Bill Churchill,                       Gordon Fortney, Dr. Angel Hong, Dave Jones, Steward                   Lyman, Steve Schrock, Joyce Spidle, and Karen                               Buchanan

          --    Cities of Rock Island and Davenport

          --    Davenport AM Optimist Club donated money to Fly                       the Flag High as well as donating the use of its US                       flags for Fly the Flag High.

          --    Davenport Noon Optimist Club donated the use of                       its US flags for  Fly the Flag High.

          --    The Patriot Guard donated the use of its US flags for                   Fly the Flag High.

            --    Davenport American Legion provided an Honor Guard                    for the Opening Ceremonies at Fly the Flag High.                          They also allowed its premises as a meeting                                place for Fly the Flag High Planning Committee.

           --   Modern Woodmen graciously allowed its employees                      to volunteer at Fly the Flag High during office hours. 

           --   Molly "Shutters" Condon who photographed the first                    two Fly the Flag High events and donated all photos                    to Fly the Flag High.

           --   Modern Woodmen Park opened the ballpark doors so

                  spectators could view from the third base seats and                    also opened the restrooms for the volunteers'                              convenience.  

           --   Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) who                         approved use of the Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot 

                 (Centennial) Memorial Bridge.

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