By Eileen Persike
The American flag flying from the raised ladder of a Rhinelander Fire Department truck is a symbol of honor and patriotism reserved for special occasions. This week, members of the local NCO club presented the department with a second flag.
“This flag was donated to the city about four years ago and unfortunately it wouldn’t fly with from the flag pole here in town and they gave it back to us,” said Non-Commission officer club chair Dan Keck. “So we’ve actually been holding it for four years… and thought it made perfectly good sense to donate it back to the city and the fire department so they can hang it from their ladder truck.”
According to fire Chief Terry Williams, the department’s existing flag was donated by a citizen, and while old, they will continue to use it.
“When we fly it is Veterans Day, fourth of July, for returning vets and unfortunately military funerals; and we’ve even used them for firefighter funerals” Williams said. “For this group to donate this flag is huge.”
The fire department will have a use for two flags, Williams explained.
“There are probably going to be times, unfortunately, where there will be a loss of a police officer, fire fighter, or military personnel where we’ll want to honor them and having two flags just means that if we get another ladder truck from another town visiting, we’d be able to really show that support.”
Dan Keck perhaps summed it up best when he said club members wanted to present the flag to the fire department in honor of the city’s heroes. A group, he said, which includes the fire fighters.