More than 200 American flags could be seen across the Highland Lakes on Monday, June 14, in observance of Flag Day. The flags were raised and lowered as part of the Kiwanis Club of Marble Falls’ flag program.
Kiwanis is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to encouraging civic engagement among young people. The Marble Falls club was organized in 1982.
To participate in the flag program, sponsors pay an initial $50 fee for a flag to be placed in a location of their choice. The Kiwanis raise the flags on eight national holidays, including the Fourth of July and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Sponsorships can be renewed each year for a reduced fee of $40. Proceeds go directly to programs sponsored by the club.
“I’d like to see a lot more flags around,” said Drew Claes, president of the Marble Falls Kiwanis. “When you go up (U.S.) 281 and see flags along the drive, it’s really touching.”
In addition to their regular spots, 14 flags were raised this year at the Military Veterans Memorial Park in Meadowlakes, located at the corner of Meadowlakes Drive and Fairway Lane, Claes said.
For more information on how to sponsor a flag, visit the Kiwanis Club of Marble Falls website.
The flag program isn’t the club’s only patriotic initiative. Members also participate in the Stars for Our Troops program, handing out stars cut from retired flags to veterans to thank them for their service.
The program is especially meaningful to Claes, who is a Vietnam War veteran. He sees it as an easy way to let veterans know they are not forgotten.
“You can usually spot a veteran by something they’re wearing, like their hats,” Claes said. “One time, I saw a vet in the Walmart parking lot. I handed him a star and thanked him for his service, and he just walked along. But about 10 minutes later, I saw him walking across the parking lot, and he came back to me, shook my hand and said thank you. That sure was a special one.”