If it’s a holiday, expect that the Lions Club will be out pre-dawn planting flags on the square, 11th street, and Sam Houston Avenue. There’s a good chance the LEAP Ambassadors will be with them, helping.
Memorial Day was first observed in 1868, and for decades it was called Decoration Day, celebrating those lost in the Civil War. The casualties in World War I, however, prompted a need for a broader remembrance and the holiday became Memorial Day, and it now reflects lives lost in all wars. It was not until 1971 that it became a Federal Holiday.
World War I also contributed to the founding of the Lions Club. With problems besetting the world, Melvin Jones invited business clubs together, and the Lions Club was founded. The organization grew, becoming international by 1920, and expanded also in terms of its causes. Helen Keller spoke to the organization, challenging the Club to become “Knights of the Blind.” The Lions have championed the cause of vision since that day in 1925.
Of course their public service goes beyond vision, which is how we came to be helping them plant flags. We first assisted the Lions Club on MLK Day of this year, and it has helped us form professional networks, develop skills, and make some new friends.
So, next time you see the flags out on a holiday, remember that it was members of the Lions Club that awoke before dawn to put them there.
And, of course, this Memorial Day, remember the fallen soldiers to which this day is dedicated.
How does the Lion’s Club start their holidays off? By awaking at 6am and putting out flags, to beautify the community and promote gratitude for the freedoms and liberties others have helped secure. So, this morning a few of the LEAP Ambassadors awoke and joined the Lion’s Club in this worthy cause.
We have previously volunteered with the Flag Project, and we remember the process well: alternating the flags (US Flag; Texas Flag; US Flag; Texas Flag) along a half mile stretch of 11th street and about a mile stretch of Sam Houston Avenue. Holes exist along these streets, just for this purpose, and it’s just a matter of grabbing the flags (ably provided to us by Sheryl and Dottie) and placing the flags. With a group of eight people, we found a rhythm of two volunteers handing out flags in the trailer, a person driving, and the rest receiving, running, and placing the flags.
The morning was made all the better with a few laughs shared among volunteers. Jessica proved to be rather good at re-drilling the flag-holes that weren’t completely hollow, I eventually learned what side of the trailer to stand on to avoid traffic, and we think Yvette eventually awoke fully.
As we were wrapping, up where were able to snap a few pictures with the flags.
After about an hour the end was in sight, and we were in fact running out of flags!
The volunteerism was enjoyable, made all the more so by the buoyant personalities of Tom Waddill, Sheryl Miller, Dottie Fulton, and Glen Schumacher. What better way to kick of Texas Independence Day than with volunteering with great people for a great project?
Thank you to the Walker County Lions Club for the opportunity to display the visual reminders of Texas Independence Day and of course Sam Houston’s Birthday!