A stack of old flags is prepared for proper disposal at the American Legion post in Lanark Village. [ Pat Funderburk | Contributed ]
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Honoring Old Glory

From one end of the Forgotten Coast to the other, from Beacon Hill to St. James Bay, Memorial Day marked much more than the traditional start of summer.

It stood for that which has protected America since its founding, and remembered not only the fallen, but those who have disappeared without a trace.

The Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 Riders in Lanark expanded on their outreach to bring veteran residents of Arabella Health & Wellness of Carrabelle, at St. James Bay, into their caring fold. The Riders made it possible for a flagpole to be installed and two new flags, the American flag and POW flag, to fly over the building. 

Helping the many Riders involved in this installation were some of the new volunteer firefighters from the rejuvenated St. James/ Lanark fire department.

The community was invited to a May 20 ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication at Arabella, which sponsored the event to show their appreciation. The Legion

Riders’ Jeff Allen, assistant director, and Remona Larsen, director, work closely with Denise Jefferson, Arabella’s director of activities, along with staff members and owners.

Cutting the ribbon were Lisa Gates, Arabella vice president; Tabaitha Ray, director of nursing; Laura Weseman and Scott Hayes, members of the National Healthcare Association; Nathan Hertzel, CEO; Courtney Cook, assistant director of nursing; and Allen, Larsen and Jefferson. 

The raising of the American flag was performed by Cortez Mays, and the POW-MIA flag by Luke Godert, both members of the U.S. Marine Corps. Thank you to the Franklin County Schools’ Cadet Core whose presence was appreciated, they were great. Carrabelle Police Officer Tim Stevens sang the National Anthem and America the Beautiful.

Arabella’s Scott Hayes, a veteran himself, spoke to the veterans and others, sharing his personal gratitude in a touching way.

The Legion Riders presented a plaque to stand alongside the flags, dedicating their presence to the veteran family at Arabella. 

Lanark Memorial Day weekend was a busy one for the area, starting off with a wonderful, well-attended luncheon of hamburgers, hot dogs and covered dishes at the Lanark Village Boat Club.

Of course, the Memorial Day highlight was the ceremony at Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 on Oak Street. Everyone was invited as a reminder of what this day is all about. 

Commander Vance Pedrick began the ceremony by following the protocol of this most sacred event. As the MIA soldiers were honored with a moment of silence, “Taps” was played by Richard Fravel. Stevens sang the National Anthem, just as he had earlier that morning at Veterans Memorial Plaza in Apalachicola.

Special guest speaker was Franklin County Superintendent Steve Lanier, a retired Navy commander, who honored veterans by sharing his own real-life experiences. 

A favorite part was when the veterans from each branch of service were recognized, especially when Lanark has Bob Dietz, Navy veteran of World War II, and Fred Aman, Army veteran of the Korean War. Following was the American Flag retirement ceremony; this is when used flags are retired with proper protocol and respect. Post 82 was honored to have a “Garrison Flag,” 20 feet by 38 feet, brought by retired veteran John Paul, who also oversaw the ceremony. 

A covered dish was served afterward and in Lanark style some of the food was donated by the Lanark Village Boat Club. The St. James/Lanark Fire Department volunteers and fire truck were on hand.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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