By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
A new American flag is flying high above Meridian's veteran's services office.
A lighted flagpole donated by Woodmen of the World will allow the flag to fly day and night. A flagpole must have a light in order for the flag to properly displayed at night.
The flagpole was installed outside the Veteran's Resource Center on 23rd Avenue and the inaugural flag went up the pole Monday afternoon as city and county officials, along with Red Cross and veterans service personnel, gathered around to celebrate its installation.
The building that houses the Veteran's Resource Center, previously owned by the American Red Cross, was recently donated to Lauderdale County.
"We're a military community and we are always building partnerships," said Mayor Cheri Barry as she thanked those who had contributed to the effort, including Woodmen of the World, Sequel Electrical Supply and Buckley Electric.
Hank Florey, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors and himself a veteran, offered thanks for the flag and flagpole and for the donation of the building.
"We have thousands and thousands of veterans in Lauderdale County, more and more every day coming home from the front in Afghanistan. We're proud of this building and we're proud of this new flag."
The building had been donated to the Red Cross by the Jane McWilliams family in an effort to get a veteran's resource center in the community.
The Red Cross, along with city and county government officials, restored the building and later moved the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services into the building. They then brought the Lauderdale County Veteran's Service Office there.
"What we are celebrating today are the veterans in our city and our county, the flag was donated by the Woodmen of the World along with the flagpole, Sequel Electrical Supply donated the light bulbs and Buckley Electric donated the lighting so that we could spotlight the flag at night," Barry said.