Honor heroes, salute flags across Mississippi

KAREN BUCHANAN,  Apr 29, 2018

Dispatch, Guest Columnist

     On Flag Day, June 14, across the spans of the Master Sgt. Stanley Talbot Memorial Bridge, formerly known as the Centennial Bridge, U.S. flags will fly high above the mighty Mississippi River from Rock Island to Davenport.

From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Quad-Cities volunteers, lining the east sidewalk of the bridge, will hold flags to honor veterans and military personnel as well as the U.S flag.

     Almost 50 years ago, an 8-year-old in Central Illinois listened nightly to Walter Cronkite on the CBS News tell about the bombings of Laos and Cambodia. Afterwards she would ask her parents questions like, “What if they bomb us back?” “How do we know that we’re safe?”

     Her parents told her of men and women who sacrificed everything, including their lives for the country — for her. Someday, the child vowed, she would find a glorious way to celebrate veterans and active military. Now, close to a half century later, that celebration will occur.

      I am that child of 50 years ago, and my work with the nonprofit Healing Heroes in the Heartland has allowed me to realize my dream. On this Flag Day, with the help of many, I will be able to honor those who have given so much for me.

     Veterans and military members sacrificed so much to keep our country safe and also to protect my rights. Where would we all be without them? That is something I don’t like to think about.

     The 3,850 foot (1.173 mile) span of the Master Sgt. Stanley Talbot Memorial Bridge will have approximately 200 U.S. flags, unfurled 170 feet above the mighty Mississippi River, as proud Quad-Cities volunteers hold them high.

Those who wish to know more about Healing Heroes in the Heartland can call me at 309- 236-2949.


Karen Buchanan is committee chair for the Heroes in the Heartland Flag Day tribute.



     Picture this: A Flag Day event extraordinaire! The red, white, and blue of U.S. flags flying high above the mighty Mississippi River. What a sight to behold!

     Well, join us on Flag Day Thursday for just that: a show of patriotism at its best. Across the Master Sergeant Stanley W. Talbot Memorial Bridge, from 8 to 9 a.m., volunteers, standing in the pedestrian passageway, will serve as flag bearers -- a celebration to honor our veterans, our military, and our country.

      If you wish to volunteer, please be at 2nd and Gaines Streets in Davenport (grassy area at base of the bridge) between 7 and 7:25 a.m. Parking is in the city lot west of Modern Woodmen Park on River Drive.

     Walking onto the bridge will start around 7:40 a.m. Flags will be provided. All volunteers must sign a waiver. Children need to be accompanied by an adult.

     For those who prefer to be spectators, check out these suggested spots: third baseline seats at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, LeClaire Park in Davenport, or Schweibert Park in Rock Island.

Joseph Smith told Life Magazine in July 1900 that “(t)he flavor of patriotism depends upon its habitat.” In the Quad-Cities patriotism is alive and contagious.

      So please join your neighbors from Illinois and Iowa in a bright and bold red, white, and blue display -- a Quad-Cities Flag Day that will not be forgotten for a very long time.


Karen Buchanan,

Chair,  Fly the Flag High Committee