LIVING HISTORY: Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima, will help mark the 70th anniversary after prodding from his grandchildren.
Reprinted by Permission
Hershel “Woody” Williams is returning after 70 years to Iwo Jima, where a flamethrower saved him from Japanese bayonets and where he earned the Medal of Honor.
His grandchildren urged him for years to relive the war on-site at annual ceremonies to commemorate the Marine Corps‘ bloodiest battle — the conquering of an 8-square-mile Pacific dot of black volcanic sand and dirt where B-29s could stage for flights to mainland Japan.
“I finally was convinced by my grandchildren,” said Mr. Williams, 91. “My feelings [for] not going back were because we gave the island back to the Japanese. I felt we should have kept it as a memorial and a showplace for the Pacific, something a little bit like Hawaii, more historical even than Hawaii, and that we should not have given it back to the Japanese. So I just had no desire to go back. But they convinced me I’m getting old and crotchety and I need to change my attitude on it, so I did.”
PHOTOS: World War II Marines return to Iwo Jima on 70th anniversary of famed battle, flag raising
A return trip to the scene of one of World War II’s most famous and costly battles will not be easy for former Marines in their 80s and 90s.
But a group of about 45 American veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima, some needing financial help, plan to make the long journey March 21 for a 70th anniversary ceremony in the shadow of Mount Suribachi and the 1945 iconic flag-raising.
There will be no Japanese counterparts. The dwindling cadre of the initial 1,083 survivors, who first had fought in China and were older than the primarily teenage American force, have grown too frail to travel. But hundreds of bereaved Japanese family members will join Americans who also lost loved ones in the February-to-March 1945 struggle.
You can find the full story at the U.K.’s Independent but here is a small excerpt:
Graham Bartram’s best and worst flags
South Africa: ‘It has more colours than we would advise but it just works. It was known as the Rainbow Flag and South Africa is now known as the Rainbow Nation.’
Zambia: ‘All the important bits are on the right-hand side. The design won’t be seen when the flag hangs down. You have to move the eagle and the coloured stripes to the other side.’
Greenland: ‘It’s white over red, with a red over white circle in the middle. It’s very simple, it’s very striking and I think it’s just a great flag.’ (Though in our humble opinion the flag does nothing to make you recognize it as Greenland. Perhaps if it was green instead of red it might make more sense to people not from Greenland.)
Turkmenistan: ‘It’s a lovely idea: a stripe down one side which is carpet motif. But it’s incredibly complicated. To draw that is a nightmare. The level of detail is extraordinary, it is an actual carpet design. Drawing it took me two week.”
Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com was the recipient of the Betsy Ross Award from the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). This award is the highest honor in the flag industry. The purpose of the award is to recognize an active member in good standing with NIFDA who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to become a successful flag dealer and bring service, visibility and positive attention to the flag industry.
Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com is celebrating their 40th year in business throughout 2015. McCoy opened her flag business, Arkansas’ Flag and Banner, in 1975, and during 40 years the operation has progressed from door-to-door sales to the Internet. In 2000, the company began marketing as simply FlagandBanner.com.
FlagandBanner.com started as a one-woman company with McCoy handling all aspects of the business. That small flag business has grown to become a multi-million dollar success located in downtown Little Rock at 800 West 9th Street and now employs a staff of 25.
FlagandBanner.com’s other awards include:
- Blue Chip Enterprise Award from Connecticut Mutual
- (2 time) Arkansas Business of the Year Finalist
- ADDY Bronze Award
- ADDY Outstanding Achievement Award
- 1st Place Commercial Sign Design Contest
- 3rd Place International Sign Contest
- Multiple honors from military units
Learn more about FlagandBanner.com at http://presscenter.flagandbanner.com
Learn more about the current flag at http://www.flagandbanner.com/Products/FBPP0000010401.asp
Greg Noone, United Kingdom
23-year old Freelance Journalist, with a deep interest in anything. https://gregmnoone.wordpress.com/
Waseca’s Jeremiah Miller, center, is seen at Four Seasons Athletics in 2013 next to his wife, Jaala, shortly after they purchased the business. Miller won this year’s Distinguished Service Award. (County News file photo)
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 7:45 am | Updated: 2:41 pm, Mon Feb 2, 2015.
By ADAM J.S. HOLT firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posted on Feb 2, 2015
- by Adam Holt
Jeremiah Miller speaks with enthusiasm. Every time he calls something “awesome,” it’s clear he means it. Chat with Miller for a few minutes, and it’s easy to see that finding the energy to stay involved in the community isn’t a problem for the native Wasecan.
And Miller stays quite involved.
The 37-year-old also helped get Waseca’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program off the ground, is a member of the Waseca Hockey Association and co-owns Four Seasons Athletics in town — those are just a few snippets from his résumé. Oh, and he’s got a wife and four kids, too.
That’s all helped earn him this year’s Waseca Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award. The recipient is an individual between 18 and 40 years old and a resident of Waseca. This individual has “given themselves” through civic involvement and community development, according to the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce website.
The winner is chosen in part by former recipients, and last year’s winner, Larry Johnson, said it’s more common than not to see Miller out and about.
“He’s a supporter in the community,” Johnson said. “If you got to a band festival, a basketball game, a football game, a baseball game, you’re going to see either Jeremiah or his wife there, as spectators or watching kids there or doing something with Four Seasons. They’re at darn near every event.”
Miller, a 20-year veteran of the Army National Guard, has a countdown on his phone reminding him he’s got just less than five years of duty left. He hopes he isn’t deployed again, having already served in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the meantime, he keeps plenty busy, whether it’s serving as Pack 86’s Cubmaster, starting a term on the Chamber of Commerce board or attending concerts or games.
“Now that I have kids, my kids are super active,” Miller said. “(It) kind of was like, I’ve got to get out here and support this stuff, because my kids are amazing, so everybody elses’ kids are amazing. So let’s show this support. It’s been awesome. We’re never home. Which is great, always getting out and doing things and seeing people. I love it.”
Having four kids in a variety of activities helps keep the family busy. But don’t think that the Millers are only out at events out of obligation.
“Even if they weren’t in so many, we just love being out in the community with everyone that lives in our community, and enjoying our friendships that have grown,” said wife Jaala Miller. “Especially since after buying Four Seasons, all the great people that we’ve met and all the positivity that has happened in the last year and a half, over year and half now since we’ve owned the store.”
Jeremiah and Jaala purchased Four Seasons in August of 2013, a decision that’s proved to be very rewarding.
“It’s been awesome,” Jeremiah Miller said. “I tell people all the time, one of the greatest things [is] to go to a sporting event, is to see people wearing the apparel you created. Seeing that team or that group of school kids — TEAM Academy had a concert, and all the kids wore their TEAM Academy shirts, and we made those.”
In addition to all that, Miller’s starting a non-profit organization called Free Flags for Veterans, with a goal of providing two free flags for military veterans a year. Supporting veterans and their families is important to Miller, who initially only joined the military because a good friend from high school did. Now he’s a Human Resources Chief Warrant Officer 2 for the 147th Human Resources Company.
The difficult part of being so involved? Balancing everything. Miller works as a licensed sales associate at Andrew R. Miller Agency for American Family Insurance in addition to his other responsibilities. He’s got a lot going on.
“You find ways to juggle things,” Johnson said. “But it does take a toll on your family. You can’t do the things he’s doing without a great support structure. And he’s got a really good support structure. His wife is fantastic, he’s got some great kids. I think that really props a guy up — man or woman — to do whatever it is they want to do that they’re passionate about.”
For Miller, keeping the whole family involved is a big key. Letting his kids know they’re welcome in all activities helps, whether it’s with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon or just a workout at the gym.
There’s still a lot ahead for Miller, who’s continuing to raise money for Free Flags for Veterans. That, in addition to everything else he does, should keep him and his family busy.
For a little bit though, Miller can enjoy being recognized for his efforts to stay involved in the community.
“I don’t even know how to take it,” Miller said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Free Flags for Veterans an important project for Miller
Not all the American flags he saw flying were in the best condition. That got him thinking about how pricy flags can be. And about how that might make it difficult for military veterans to be able to fly flags in front of their homes. It didn’t sit well with him.
“It’s not right that veterans have to pay such high prices for something they fought and died for,” Miller said.
So he’s trying to change that. Miller is starting a non-profit organization called Free Flags for Veterans, with the goal of supplying American flags for military vets, free of charge. As a member of the Army National Guard who served deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the matter holds special importance for him.
When Miller initially came up with the idea, he started a Facebook page and got support from people as far away as Kentucky and Arizona. That made him realize he was on the right track, but had to scale things back and start locally to realistically get it off the ground.
Free Flags for Veterans started as an idea, but has gained traction recently. Miller said he’s raised $625 since October and his putting on an “All Gave Some, Some Gave All” 4K run/walk around Loon Lake on Feb. 15, with funds going to the non-profit.
“I think just him being able to start getting that part of it, and actually put his thoughts into plan and working for it, as a family, we’re right next to him and stand behind him 100 percent,” his wife, Jaala Miller, said.
As with everything else Jeremiah does, it’s become a family affair. His four kids are now acutely aware of the condition of every flag they see.
“I’ve actually got my kids now looking at flags flying around town,” he said. “They’re like ‘Dad, look at that flag! It’s shredded.’ Or, ‘Dad, did you see that flag, it’s wrapped around a pole.’”
Miller has the paperwork set and people can donate on an online site called Piggybackr. He wants to eventually get a wholesale account to get the flags, but for now is considering working with someone local to get an initial order done, just to start distributing some flags. In time, Miller wants to provide poles and lights, too.
It’s just one thing Miller thought he could do to support his fellow veterans.
“We’ve all shared the same thing, and they’re going through a lot of the same things,” he said. “Just helping any veterans is awesome, so that is majorly important. And their families, you can’t forget their families.”
More information on the organization can be found at its Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/freeflagsforvets.
Story originally published at: http://www.southernminn.com/waseca_county_news/news/article_c2001516-e497-59a9-b3ec-d76cca21f1a3.html
FREEPORT (WGME) — Even with a blizzard bearing down on Maine, the Freeport Flag Ladies showed how dedicated they are to their mission.
The ladies were out as usual Tuesday morning on Main Street in Freeport, waving their flags and honoring those who serve our country.
They’ve been doing this every Tuesday since September 11th, and clearly, nothing will stop them. They say they didn’t stay out as long as usual Tuesday morning, but who can hold that against them.
The big game is this weekend. Here is a chart from the National Retail Foundation that surveyed consumers age 18 and up about the Super Bowl Commercials.
|Opinions On Super Bowl TV Commercials|
Among those who plan to watch the Super Bowl answered the questions below.
|Charts from the NRF Foundation’s Retail Insight Center. To access this data and more research please visit the Retail Insight Center.|
You can find this chart and more about Consumers and the Super Bowl here: http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=56#.VMfZEC6jt52
You can find flag kits like those above at FlagandBanner.com
By ERNEST ROLLINS, Brazil Times Reporter
Park to honor all 5 military branches
Indiana – Three local agencies are spearheading major construction projects this year that would honor the county’s past, present and future service men and women.
The Eliza Rizley Stacey Clay County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1127 and American Softball Kids are working to build a military park that would feature softball fields and a veterans memorial honoring all five branches of the military. Craig Park has been selected as the location of the military park.
DAR Veterans Committee Chairwoman Cindy Kowitz said three years ago club members expressed interest in doing a memorial for the six revolutionary war soldiers buried in Clay County. After searching for an area to plant six trees and install six markers in the soldiers’ honor, they found out ASK was thinking of doing something similar.
“(After hearing about ASK’s goals for the military park), we just jumped right in and said ‘hey, this is something that we wanted to do and have been talking about it for a long time in the club,’” Kowitz said.
ASK representative Karen McQueen said the VFW-sponsored softball program has been seeking a more permanent field to play and began discussing the prospect of using property in Craig Park in Spring 2015. Since that time, through donations and a $5,000 grant from the Clay County Community Foundation in 2014, they are closer to their goal of opening up the softball fields with a tentative groundbreaking ceremony for the first field scheduled for next month.
“We were very fortunate to get the money,” McQueen said about the grant. “It shows they see the softball field being a huge asset to the community.”
In honor of the continuing VFW support and to recognize all service men and women in the county, it was decided the first field be named Veterans’ Field.
“The VFW is backing us and the military has always been near and dear to us,” McQueen said. “We have a lot of family members who serve in the military. We just want to give back to the armed services.”
Memorial to honor all five branches of the military.
While ASK works to get the fields in place, DAR and the VFW are working to create the memorial. The agencies are already fundraising for the project. The goal is to have enough money to complete the project by Veterans Day.
Preliminary plans are to construct a five-point star featuring each service branch.
“Each point will display a service insignia laser-engraved in a black granite stone, as well as that branch’s flag,” according to a news release from DAR. “The American flag will be highlighted in the center of the star, and will always be lit at night to signify that our servicemen and women are always working to protect our nation.”
In addition to the star, six shade trees will be planted in honor of the six revolutionary war servicemen and there will be a brick-paved walkway, the release continues. Kowitz said French Funeral Home has committed to donate the six trees, markers, five granite military branch emblems and an engraved bench to the cause. The VFW Post 1127 will provide all the flags for the park.
Also, anyone can purchase a brick that can be designed to their liking through DAR for $50.
Kowitz said local residents or businesses interested in donating can do so by contributing to an account at Riddell Bank titled “Craig Military Park.” Also, the VFW post will host breakfasts each Monday from 8-10 a.m. at the post’s headquarters on South Depot Street. A free-will donation will be taken with all proceeds going to the memorial. For more information about the memorial contact Kowitz at 812-443-0150.
“We’re just real excited about it,” Kowitz said. “We think it is a very important project. They need to be honored. Not just the people who died but all military personnel.”
Original story: http://www.thebraziltimes.com/story/2159746.html
BY JOSHUA FECHTER : JANUARY 20, 2015 : Updated: January 21, 2015 7:39am
If you didn’t know that Texas cities have flags, there might be a simple explanation: they’re mind-numblingly, hilariously dull.
Many cities seem to opt for seals rather than flags, but a cursory search of Wikimedia Commons turned up about 20 flags belonging to cities in the Lone Star State.
San Antonio predictably sticks the Alamo right in the center of the flag, while Dallas and Houston just go with a giant star containing the city seal against differing backgrounds.
A few flags break the boring mold: Corpus Christi’s flag features a seagull flying among eight stars in a simple yet elegant design while Von Ormy’s flag features a two-headed bird of prey clutching a sword in its black talons.
However, a Buzzfeed article yanked a bunch of interesting city flags from around the globe to give a glimpse of what could be possible in Texas. Click here to check out the photos of the actual flags and then the photos of flags that are more interesting in design from other cities.