Chicot County’s unflagging effort to create a “Field of Heroes” memorial to servicemen and women resulted in a large lighted display of 100 American flags on the Chicot County courthouse lawn. The flags will remain on display through July 4.
CA Jordan, who initiated the project with lots of help from Chicot County Judge Mack Ball and a number of volunteers, local banks, and businesses, borrowed the idea for the display from Cleburne County where Jordan saw the American Legion Auxiliary’s annual 9/11 Field of Heroes display.
When she approached Ball about the idea, the county judge was as passionate about the project as she and they got busy and completed the project just in time for the county’s Memorial Day service on Monday.
Illustrating the cooperative spirit they encountered, Jordan said they contacted Chicot Irrigation to get a price on the PVC pipe needed for the flag poles and, without hesitation, Chicot Irrigation refused to charge them, saying they were welcome to get all they needed.
“It was the same at Barton’s of Lake Village,” Jordan said. “Everything we needed a price quote on was gladly donated without hesitation.”
Dale Scrivner, owner of M&I Electric, pitched in and donated the labor and material for the lighting, and two banks, Simmons First and the Bank of Lake Village, both helped with the cost of the flags.
Sam and Sammy Angel pitched in too.
“Because so much work was involved in the cutting, drilling and cleaning the pipe and cutting the rebar, we approached Mr. Sam Angel and Sammy Angel for the use of their shop as a staging area,” Jordan said. “Not only did they allow us to use the work area, they were more than willing to give us all the help we needed.”
Sammy Angel, who owns Delta Graphics, also designed and donated the sign for the display.
Last Saturday, Sammy Angel, Judge Ball, Dr. Viviana Suarez, and Jordan flagged the courthouse lawn to set the rebar and flags. By Monday, the display was complete.
Judge Ball plans to undertake the project every year, according to Jordan.
“We hope that we will be able to designate a flag for each person from Chicot County who has served in the military,” Jordan explained. “We started with 100 flags and one POW/MIA flag and hope this project grows every year as we are able to obtain the names of our service personnel. Judge Ball will start a file in his office and as family members contact us, we will record the names, branch of service and dates of service for our 2013 exhibit. Our plans are to attach a certificate to each flag so that visitors and family can personally identify their soldier with his or her flag.
“I have lived in Lake Village for a long time and we are a good community, but I have never seen a project come together with such passion,” Jordan said. “We owe so much to our military, and our efforts are, in a small way, a thank you from the citizens of Chicot County. Each and everyone of us should take the time to personally thank every soldier in uniform or anyone we know who has sacrificed to keep America free.”
Judge Ball will host a Memorial Day dedication on Monday at 12:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the service and show its support for the country’s servicemen and women.