Flag Day a success on C Hill

Sue Vradenburg recites the pledge of Allegiance near the C-Hill flag during a ceremony Friday afternoon.

Sue Vradenburg recites the pledge of Allegiance near the C-Hill flag during a ceremony Friday afternoon.

History was made Friday on C Hill in a salute to the red, white and blue.

A mix of hale and hearty veterans, moms, grandparents and children made the steep trek to a small knoll just southeast of the C Hill flag at mid-day.

The sage was dotted with Indian paintbrush and poppies. Children played among the boulders while older folk admired the view. Grasses bowed to a light summer breeze and the hot dogs, chips and colas were free.

Sponsored by American Legion Capitol Post No. 4, the Flag Day ceremony began informally, but the baseball hats came off for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Post member and 21-year U.S. Air Force veteran Tod Jennings said he spent three years on a Spanish Air Force Base and more time in Saudi Arabia.

"Our men were dying, but we couldn't fly the flag," Jennings said. "That's why this means so much to me."

Many grandparents brought their grandchildren, and Carson City resident Sue Vradenburg, donning a sequined red and white hat, was among them. Grandson Mitch Siegel, 12, is visiting from Colorado.

"This is a good thing for him," she said. "It's a wonderful experience on a beautiful day and he is really enjoying it."

"I had no clue the celebration would be this big," said Josh Buscay, one of the founders of the flag project. "It's pretty cool."

The tragedy on Sept. 11 brought many changes to this country, and the C Hill flag is one of them.

Initiated by Carson City residents Gil Ayarbe, Dan Mooney and Buscay, the project started after that tragedy and Gov. Kenny Guinn commended the three, together with all the volunteers on the project, in a proclamation.

"As they envisioned, the flag has become a beacon of hope, resolve and security to all those who see it and a source of community pride for the citizens of Carson City and the state of Nevada," he said.

Buscay said he spent hundreds of hours helping with this all-vounteer effort, from designing the flag on his computer to helping haul materials to the site. Sarah's Upholstery on Deer Run Road cut and sewed the flag's sections and Scout Troop 44 helped place the stars and install the 2,500 metal grommets used to hold the flag's panels together.

According to Mooney, inmates from Stewart Conservation Camp spent hours on the project.

"They worked hours a day," he said. "They dug six-foot holes and cables are anchored around boulders in the holes. The frame is attached to the boulders and that's what holds the flag in place on the hill."

The 120-by-67-foot flag was secured on a frame made of metal pipe in October, but the project is far from complete, according to Mooney.

The C Hill foundation, an organization dedicated to maintaining the flag, spent hours grooming the small trail that leads to the base of the flag before Friday's ceremony. He said benches on the private portion of the trail will be installed for a rest stop and volunteers will coat the fabric with a special preservative to protect it from ultraviolet rays.

Down in Carson City, Mayor Ray Masayko presented proclamations honoring the 225th birthday of the flag and the 227th birthday of the U.S. Army at the Capitol Complex Veterans Memorial on Friday morning.

Carson City Elks held a Flag Day ceremony at their lodge Friday evening.


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