The Bend Parade of Flags (BPF) program which was developed by a local group of patriotic citizens will display hundreds of American flags in downtown Bend on November 11, Veterans Day, to honor our nation.
160 flags will be erected by the Central Oregon Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (COMOAA), and Boy Scouts of America Troop 25. The flags will be displayed on Wall St., Bond St., Franklin Ave., Minnesota Ave., and Oregon Ave. Many of the flags will be flown along the parade route, and can be seen from sidewalks by spectators and parade participants alike.
The flags were earlier flown over the United States Capitol in Washington DC and will add patriotic spirit to the “Soldiers in Greasepaint” World War II-style USO Show which will be shown at the Tower Theater at 7 p.m.
The BPF group displayed 45 flags on Wall St. on July 1 and August 29 to honor Private First Class Thomas L. Tucker of Madras and Lance Corporal Randy L. Newman of Bend who were killed in action in Iraq. On Patriot Day, 93 flags were displayed.
Next year an additional 120 flags will be displayed on four more holidays, for a total of 280 flags flown on seven occasions. In 2007, flags will also be displayed on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Labor Day. Several organizations have volunteered to install the flags on the seven planned flag-display days in 2007.
The City of Bend has been very supportive of the flag program, unanimously voting for its approval on January 18.
The Bend BPF group includes Boy Scouts of America Troop 25; City of Bend’s Street, Police and Fire Departments; Bend Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge 1371; Bend Navy JROTC; Central Oregon Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (COMOAA); Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office; and Fleet Reserve Association.
Several other agencies and businesses have generously donated materials, facilities, and labor to the program. They include Bend Street Department, Brian’s Cabinets, Consolidated Supply, Denfeld Paints, Fastenal Industrial Supply, Parr Lumber/Bend, Rainbow Threads, Searing Electric and Plumbing, Secure Storage, and We Cut Concrete.
Dick Tobiason, leader of the Bend Parade of Flags program reports all participants are energized by the outstanding support given by the City of Bend, local business community, and the public to honor our nation. Anyone wishing to sponsor a flag in downtown Bend in 2007 is invited to call 388-5591 or 390-1753.