Tale of two overpasses
I read with interest in last week’s Record–Journal the history behind the American flags on the Hubbard Park pedestrian bridge over Interstate 691. A gentleman from Meriden, who recently passed away, had been installing the flags at his own expense for at least five to six years. It was reported he did this because it was his way of reminding people not to take our American way of life for granted and because he was proud of his country and wanted to share his patriotic pride with all who drove under and by the flags.
One month prior to that article, I read an article concerning the New Jersey Turnpike Authority ordering American flags that had been flying on overpasses for nearly two decades, following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, to be removed three days before September 11th of this year. It was reported many of these flags were placed on the overpasses and maintained by members of local law enforcement as a way of continuing the tradition of honoring veterans and those lost in service to our country. In a statement from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority concerning its order, it made reference to “these turbulent times.” One can conclude for the last 19 years it was the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s opinion it was acceptable to have the American flags displayed on overpasses, but now that we are in “turbulent times,” it is of the opinion it is not acceptable to have an American flag displayed on an overpass.
Fortunately, the Governor of New Jersey rescinded the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s order and stated “We are the greatest nation on Earth even though we’re far from perfect and our flag represents that nation.” However, given the ever shifting political winds, who knows, his position could change.
Jim Seichter, Wallingford