Dedication of Eagle with Flag

As a Vietnam-era veteran, I am proud that on Friday, Sept. 10, the City of Fairhope, Ala., in conjunction with the 9/11 weekend dedicated a one-of-a-kind statue (Eagle with Flag) to "honor those and their families who serve to protect our safety, wellness and freedoms." Recognizing and celebrating the efforts and sacrifices of first responders and essential workers, especially with fires, drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, mass flooding, mass shootings, problems abroad and a pandemic that has taken more than 670,000 lives is way overdue. This statue is nonpolitical, broad-based and symbolizes the "courage, strength, unity and freedom" of the American people. The importance of this project is the statue is a living, timeless memorial located in front of City Hall for public viewing daily and serves as a permanent, constant and eternal reminder of those (veterans, firefighters, police, doctors, nurses, educators and so many other groups) and their families that have sacrificed, are sacrificing and will continue to sacrifice into the future to help and protect us and our way of life. For so long we have recognized and honored those who have died in service, which is as it should be since they made the ultimate sacrifice, but have overlooked those living who also served and continue to fight our battles on a daily basis. Thus, it is actually my hope and desire that this is a cause that can be promoted/adopted by the Legion (so many of the aforementioned people make up our membership) on a national scale so we can in the future see similar memorials in county seats, state capitals, communities throughout this great country and even in Washington, D.C. This is only the second memorial of its kind that I am aware of, with the first being dedicated in October 2019 (pre-pandemic) in my hometown of Orrville, Ohio.

Robert Weltlich