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There simply are no words to adequately describe the emotions that come when one drives down Main Street in White Hall and sees the North Greene FFA Veteran’s Day display. There are a total of 140 American flags along with 13 saluting silhouette soldiers – all to honor those who fought and are fighting to keep America free. (Carmen Ensinger/Greene Prairie Press)
By Carmen Ensinger
Greene Prairie Press
Last year the North Greene FFA took the vacant lots next to Farmer’s State Bank in White Hall and created a magnificent display for Veteran’s Day to honor our nation’s veteran’s. Everyone thought it was simply the best display ever.
But it wasn’t – this year’s is even better! Bigger and better one might add.
“Last year, when we started doing this, we decided that each year we wanted to add a little something to the display,” North Greene FFA Sponsor John Lawson said. “This year, we came up with the idea of adding the saluting silhouettes.”
Along with the 140, yes, you read that right, 140 glorious American flags, along with the five larger flags representing the five branches of the military, the flag of the State of Illinois and the large American flag on the pole, out in front stand the silhouettes of 13 saluting soldiers.
“We have had people ask us what the significance was of having the 13 soldiers and it is because we had a lot of discussion about the 13 soldiers we lost recently overseas,” Lawson said. “The silhouettes are for them.”
LaCrosse Lumber in White Hall donated all of the lumber for the silhouettes and the students in the shop classes and the FFA cut them out and painted them.
Also this year, they did a scaled down version of the display at the White Hall Nursing and Rehab on Bridgeport Street.
“We set out a few rows of flags out there and a silhouette so they could bring their veterans outside to it and maybe have their photo taken with it,” Lawson said. “We talked about doing something like this last year but while we had the flags, we didn’t have the poles. So, we bought some extra poles this year and set that up for them this week.”
The National Honor Society will be holding their program at the school on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. while the American Legion has their program scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. at Whiteside Park.
“Just as we did last year, when they get done with their program at the park, we are going to walk down to our display where we will do a 21-gun salute and play Taps followed by the flag-folding ceremony and I think several people are going to speak.”
Lawson said it is honor that the FFA has become a part of the American Legion program.
“I think it is pretty neat that after their program they come down and utilize ours,” he said. “We do what we do to honor the veterans and it is an honor to us for them to use our flags in their ceremony.”