By Elly Cosgrove | May 30, 2021 at 7:17 PM EDT – Updated May 30 at 10:55 PM
LELAND, N.C. (WECT) – The Battleship North Carolina held a special event over the weekend in honor of it’s 60th anniversary. The Raise the Flag event allows anyone to take home an American flag that was actually flown over the battleship with a $40 donation. There is also a certificate of authenticity included with the flag along with the date it was flown.
“They can have an American flag flown over the Battleship taken home with them and they either present it to somebody that they want to or keep it for themselves,” said Gordon Hume, a Friends of the Battleship North Carolina volunteer.
Local Scout groups and Veteran groups facilitate the raising and folding of the flags. Two Veterans groups from Leland were out raising flags on Sunday.
The American Legion John E. Jacobs Post 68 and Leland VFW Post 12196 raised one flag that will be flown over the senior center in Leland.
“We’re here today to honor the battleship and honor the veterans and with this we can give something back to the community with this flag,” said John Hacker, Post Commander of John E. Jacobs American Legion Post 68. “They’ve had a flag up and it’s kind of tattered, so we want to give them a special flag that’s certified that flew over the Battleship North Carolina,”
The flag itself and the procedure of raising and lowering it means so much to those who served under its stars and stripes, especially on Memorial Day Weekend.
“There’s thirteen folds and each one of those folds has a special significance and it’s even more significant as we’re out here on Memorial Day remembering our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Jason Gaver, commander-elect of the Leland VFW Post 12196.
Roger Weigold is on the board of directors for Friends of the Battleship North Carolina Memorial and is a United States Army veteran. He said having the flag fly over the ship is a symbol of our liberty and freedom.
“It has a special meaning to veterans because we, of course, every morning we raise the flag, and we salute the flag, and it’s the flag that we serve under and it represents liberty and it represents freedom, so that’s special to us,” Weigold said.
Cloudy and overcast skies on Sunday led many to rethink their beach plans, and get closer to the true meaning of Memorial Day.
There was a long line to climb aboard the Battleship North Carolina, which is the state’s World War II memorial. A great way to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service.
“It is the holiday that commemorates all those who gave their lives in service to our country and there’s no better example of that than the Battleship North Carolina,” said Ron Henderson, head of tour guide training at the Battleship North Carolina. “She served throughout the Pacific — all the major battles. She did suffer ten fatalities, so there was a price paid and today she stands as the World War II memorial for the state of North Carolina — over 10,000 North Carolinians perished in World War II.”
The Friends of the Battleship North Carolina will have more of these Raise the Flag Events over the course of the summer in honor of it’s anniversary.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.