Last Friday turned out to be the perfect day. After several years of waiting, Thomson City volunteer firefighter Jimmie Crawley was able to fly a large flag, decommissioned by the state in honor of his father, in front of Thomson's Engine Company One Headquarters.
Anchored by the city's new ladder truck, the flag waved in the breeze outside as firefighters, emergency workers, law enforcement officers and officials filled the bays Friday for a 9-11 memorial dinner.
"It was such a large flag that we didn't have a pole large enough to fly it, so when we got this ladder truck, we fixed it up with hardware to fly the flag," Mr. Crawley said.
Several years ago, Mr. Crawley, submitted his father's name, James H. Crawley, III, to have a flag that had flown over the state capitol decommissioned in his honor. The late Mr. Crawley was a longtime volunteer firefighter with the City of Thomson, and also served in the U.S. Army's security agency from 1956-1958. He died in 1987 at the age of 55.
Jimmie Crawley said his first cousin, Jamie Adams, also submitted the elder Mr. Crawley's name for the distinguished honor. Mr. Adams was actually the one who received the flag, and gave it to Mr. Crawley, who presented it to the City of Thomson Fire Department during a drill.
"We're very proud to have it," Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell said, adding that plans are for his mother, Betty Sewell, to mend a tear in the corner of the flag.