BY MELANIE BUCK –
The local Marine Corps League Detachment #1261 held a Star Tribute Ceremony on Thursday, March 2, to express their gratitude to local officials, law enforcement, and emergency workers.
Members of the County Judge’s Office, Polk County Sheriffs Department, Mena Police Department, Mena Fire Department, the Veteran’s Service Office, VA Clinic, Arkansas Game & Fish, Arkansas State Police, and the U.S. Forest Service were all honored at the service for their efforts to protect and provide services to citizens of the area.
Each department was gifted with a star for each member of their department. The stars were cut from retired flags that have flown over a home or business in Mena. The stars serve as a reminder to each one that they have not been forgotten and are appreciated.
With the stars, a note was given that read: I am part of our American Flag. I have flown over a home in the USA. I can no longer fly. In the sun and the wind, I have become tattered and torn, but not forgotten. Please carry me as a reminder that You are not forgotten.
At the ceremony, Adjuntant of the Detachment, Nathan Roth, said “Across the country, there has been a rash of incidents involving law enforcement officers and others trying to do an often difficult job, and getting harassed for it. Their job is often a thankless job and goes unnoticed. Whether it is on the streets, in the woods, our waterways, or behind the scenes such as our veterans services and justice department, they are there. They are here to protect and serve, often times in severe circumstances. They assess the situation and render assistance in the most appropriate fashion. We wish to say a very sincere thank you to all of them. We truly appreciate all that you have done and often sacrificed to help keep us safe.”
George O’Daniel, Commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment said, “The stars have to do with unity. The blue field on the flag with the stars in it is called the union and the union goes to the very core of our nation. We find that quite often those that risk the most sacrifices are the ones who aren’t recognized.”