Raising the flag in Bethel Acres after tornadoes
BETHEL ACRES, Okla. – We met Staff Sgt. Alan Burch on the side of the road in Bethel Acres.
He clutched an American flag to his chest as he walked through what remained of that community, a community ravaged by an E-F 4 tornado on May 19.
“The flag means a lot to me, being a member of the Air Force,” he said. “We pulled it out of a tree, folded it and now I am looking for a place to hoist it up at.”
It became a personal mission for this military man who searched for anything in the debris he could use to fly the flag.
He asked anyone he saw for help and then he met the folks from Bread of Life Humanitarian Effort.
“We all work together for one main cause; we’re supposed to,” David Meeks said, with Bread of Life.
He said he has never been one to leave his fellow man behind.
Right away, he enlisted his team to find a way to put Old Glory back up again.
The group used cinder blocks to straighten out a fence pole and convert it to a flag pole.
They drilled holes into the metal, slipped wire through and then carefully wrapped the wire through the holes of the flag.
As a small crowd watched, four men raised that flag in the center of the devastated neighborhood.
Unfurled in the Oklahoma wind, the flag flew once more.
“Somebody, carrying a flag that’s folded right and wants to put it up, we’re going to help them,” Meeks said. “We’re going to help them do whatever they need.”
There is not much that stands tall in the community but there is a flag.
It’s a symbol of freedom, hope and perseverance.