DAV honors Ironton, mayor with flag presentations

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

DAV Chapter 51 Commander Stephen Saunders knows he lives in a town that loves its troops.

After a Wednesday morning ceremony at the City Center, he and his group have finally found a way to say "Thank you."

"Ironton is a patriotic town. During Vietnam, when other towns were spitting on troops and calling them baby-killers, this town didn't," Saunders said. "A troop could come into town in uniform and be treated with respect."

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Saunders also spoke of the several veterans' memorials throughout the town as a symbol of its American spirit. Thanks to the DAV, Ironton now has another place to be reminded of its troops' dedication, as the Ironton City Center is now decorated with flags commemorating the service of all branches of the armed forces.

In a dedication ceremony yesterday, members of the DAV officially presented the flags, now hanging from the second floor balcony overlooking the lobby of the building, to mayor John Elam.

Elam himself was honored by the troops with a presentation of desk-sized POW/MIA and American flags that he said he would display proudly. This second presentation, said Saunders, was to thank the mayor for his dedication to our soldiers.

In fact, the original plan was to display the banners only on patriotic holidays, but thanks in part to the mayor's urging, the banners will be displayed all year long.

Elam said he was touched by the presentation to the city and the recognition of his patriotism.

"It's a great honor to have this presentation, and they will be proudly displayed in the City Center," Elam said. "There's been so many sacrifices that past units of the armed forces have made, even in our current war for Iraqi freedom. I'm glad to see these up in the city building, and I think they make a great representation that we support our troops."

The flags are currently on display for all to enjoy in the City Center lobby.