By Nancy Ardmore
Last Saturday morning at 9 o’clock, while 178 people from the Eatonville area looked on, a special U.S. flag was raised on the Eatonville High School flag pole.
What made this flag special was that the stripes on the flag contained all of the names of the victims who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001.
For the 9/11 Day of Remembrance in Eatonville, the flag was presented and raised by a local Cub Scout troop, Troop 604, from the town of Eatonville, accompanied by the Eatonville Police. One mother was brought to tears by the innocence of the young boys as they marched in formation to the flagpole and raised the flag on this solemn occasion.
As part of the flag-raising ceremony, the crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor Jeung-Hee Kim of Eatonville United Methodist Church offered an invocation. Jody Johnson, the head of the local American Legion, spoke, and “Taps” was played by Megan McGuire.
Eatonville’s day of honor for the 9/11 victims was actually part of many other similar events held on the same day around the state and nation. Saturday’s event was the third annual one of its kind organized by churches and citizens in the Eatonville area.
When the flag ceremony ended, the work began. The 178 people present for the ceremony fanned out to various projects pre-arranged to make it a day of service in the community.
One group tied a quilt to be given to the Eatonville food bank. The Eatonville Lady Lions did a knitting demonstration and knitted preemie hats for donation to local hospitals. Another group painted the Eatonville High School storage shed. The Eatonville rain garden was weeded by another.
Trash receptacles and a shed were built for the high school’s football field. The community garden was weeded, and plums and blackberries were picked for the food bank.
A ballfield was spruced up and benches and trash can holders were built. The Eatonville animal holding shelter was cleaned up and repaired. One group of volunteers painted the yellow no-parking stripes all around town and cleaned up weeds and trash in the streets of downtown Eatonville and the sidewalks.
An Eagle Scout candidate, Max Dernoll, will continue the work at the community garden, and The Gutter Company will donate the gutters for the shed at the football field.
Pouring of concrete for the building behind Eatonville Elementary School was scheduled for Monday.
Two contractors brought heavy equipment and worked two days on the Eatonville trail while volunteers helped. Another man brought heavy equipment and worked on the landscape around the post office along with other volunteers.
The workers were seen by hundreds of people passing by, and many expressed how they enjoyed the feeling of being a part of the community by working shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors. There was laughter and joking, and one worker was seen walking down the street with a broad yellow stripe on her bottom where she had accidentally sat on wet paint while painting the curb.
(Find more of this story and more photos in the Sept. 12 print edition of The Dispatch)