Madisonville Makes a Difference – So Can We!

June 29, 2013 in Editorials

When some of my customers told me what was happening in Madisonville, Tenn., last year, a couple weeks before the 4th of July, I was amazed and so moved! This small town has come together each year for just over 10 years to honor and memorialize citizens in the military or just ordinary American citizens who have given back in some way to their home town and country. This idea all came about when one man decided to honor someone. As he talked about it to others, it caught on and is still building momentum. When Mr. Ken White set out to have 100 flags flying, he got results. Today there are probably more than 500 flags, especially since so many men and women from Monroe County have lost their lives while serving our country through the military or through protecting our streets, homes and lives in our home towns. The flags are purchased for $25 and the name of the person you are honoring or remembering goes on a plaque on the flag. The families join together in a ceremony to place these flags around the Monroe County Court House yard and the City Hall, both in Madisonville.

This is a very somber, yet loving event in which everyone involved shares bittersweet moments. This year, the ceremony was held on June 14th, and the flags will remain flying through July 26th. Just to drive to Madisonville and see this beautiful parade of our American flags waving and knowing what it represents is one way of honoring their efforts.

2013 should be a year of generous appreciation for our men and women in uniform – military, at home and abroad, as well as our many brave men and women who serve in many capacities in our home towns. Each and every one of these men and women work hard and put in much overtime to protect us.

When July 4th rolls around, let us take special time with our families and friends and talk about the Freedoms we do have, and how we can work together to make sure future generations are taught about all the challenges America has faced and overcome the last 200 years. I suggest that we find out where our towns and communities are celebrating and offer to help make it not just about fireworks, but dedication to “Remembering America with Love and Pride”. That’s something that is heart felt and no one can take that away from you, so it should be much easier for us to spread the good news.

We can offer support of our men and women in service and find out how we can help their loved ones at home. We can say thank you by way of cards and letters with small useable gifts from America. Why not adopt a family, town, or state and share the “Good News” and “Remember America” together.

I think if we all take the time that Madisonville, Tenn., takes to remember by their loved ones, it could grow and reach across America with love and pride. Remember, it just takes one to shake a hand and say thank you. It just takes one to start a project of goodness and ask your friends and neighbors to assist you in doing something to start the talk – and “Remember America”. First, we can all join together and pray for our country and for the safety of all our brave men and women, no matter what job they are performing to keep us safe. Have a great 4th of July and let’s fly Ole Glory High!

By Maxine B. Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee