The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Sidney Resident Honored For Care Of Flag

 

January 31, 2018

FORREST HERSHBERGER

Pictured from left are Sharon Fehringer (DAR Fort Sidney Chapter Regent), Ken Foland and Carol Mason (Vice Regent). Foland was recently presented with the Community Service Award for his dedication to raising and lowering the flag at Legion Park.

At the southwest portion of Legion Park is a sentinel, a marker of sorts, that stands high above the memories of past wars and their veterans.

It is indicative of the weather and symbolic of our nation and its history. Proper maintenance of the flag requires time, frequently a volunteer, and awareness of the procedure to raise and lower a flag.

Ken Foland has been that man in Sidney for more than 20 years. He started the duty in 1991.

"I just kind of fell into it," Foland said Friday. "I was helping Lynn Nelson with it. Then he moved."

Flags are susceptible to the weather. Rain, storms, sunshine and wind take their toll. Eventually, the flag needs repair. Early on the flag was sewn by nearly anyone who would volunteer, then Barb Van Fleet took on the duty, according to Foland. Then Endurance Flag started doing the work, including replacing tattered flags.

"They've been making the flag from the beginning," he said.

Foland volunteering to raise and lower the flag seems like a perfect fit in some ways. He is retired from the U.S. Air Force, having served as a Minuteman Launcher in Minot, S.D. He was one of the officers assigned to keep equipment ready in case a call to launch was ever made. He monitored 10 missiles while in Minot.

The flag in Legion Park is flown from a recycled light pole. Construction was completed in 1990, according to a letter by Daughters of the American Revolution Fort Sidney Chapter regent Sharon Fehringer.

"Without your input, I don't know that it would have gone on," Fehringer said to Foland Friday.

Fehringer and Carol Mason presented Foland with a pin and certificate recognizing him as a recipient of the Community Service Award.

One of the unique events occurred in 2012 when Sidney was experiencing high winds. Foland went out about 11 p.m. to take down the flag, a precaution because of the wind. The rope connecting the the flag to the wire cable broke and the cable jammed. Consequently, the flag could not be lowered and the flag was torn. The strange coincidence is it occurred on Sept. 11, the same date as the Benghazi attack.

 

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