Each home on a North Greenwood street is proudly displaying an American flag for this Fourth of July holiday.
The project was started by a Magnolia Street resident, Betty Aden, who said she wanted to honor the U.S. and her neighborhood’s military veterans.
“There’s so much bad news going on, and I said, ‘We need to honor our country a little more,’” said Aden. “I just thought if we could get all of the flags up on my street, it would encourage other people to put up their flags, too.”
Her project started around Flag Day a couple of weeks ago with a goal to have a flag up at each home by Independence Day.
“I just had that urge to attempt to do that,” she said.
Magnolia is a short street that is about one large block in length with about 13 homes.
“It’s a short street, but it’s a great little street,” said Aden.
Aden reached out to each of her neighbors, first by letter and then went from door to door requesting permission to put the flags up at their homes.
A few already had flags, while some went out and bought their own. For the rest, Aden offered to provide the flags and have them installed.
Gregg Geoghagan and Charles Buford, two men from the Magnolia Street neighborhood, assisted Aden with her project by installing the flags.
“She came to me with the idea, and it didn’t take me long to make up my mind,” said Geoghagan, who is a Navy veteran. “I just jumped right on it. I thought it was a wonderful idea.”
Aden said Geoghagan and Buford coordinated ladder, tools and skill to install the flags.
Geoghagan, who is known by many in the neighborhood as the “mayor of Magnolia,” said he enjoyed working on the project.
He said it not only honors the Fourth of July holiday but it also honors the third annual YANKY 72 memorial ceremony, which will be held July 11 in Itta Bena. The event is held to remember the 16 service members who died in the 2017 crash of a Marine KC-130T in Leflore County.
“I think it means a lot to have (the flags) out there,” he said. “I enjoyed doing it. I wish more people would do it, actually.”
Geoghagan said the word got out about what they were doing, and some neighbors on another street near Magnolia asked for flags, too.
“We put up a couple of flags around the corner from where we are,” he said. “We hauled the ladder around there and did it.”
Several of the neighborhood children came outside to watch the flags being installed along Magnolia. When the group was finished installing a flag at one home, a little girl, Caroline Smith, said, “We need to say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
“So we stood out in the yard and said the Pledge of Allegiance,” said Aden. “(Caroline) led us. She knew all of the words, and I said, ‘I hope all these young children know the Pledge.’”
Aden said seeing all of the flags out on her street makes her feel very patriotic.
“It makes me proud that I live in a free country, in the United States of America, and it makes me appreciate my heritage,” she said. “It makes me want to encourage others to really appreciate the freedom we have, and flying that flag is a symbol of that freedom that our military and those who have served our country have provided for us.”
Aden said she hopes other neighborhoods in Greenwood will do a similar project and enjoys seeing the patriotic banners the city puts up on the street light poles down Grand Boulevard every year.
“I find myself looking to see who is flying a flag,” she said. “I think it’s something that we need to do to bring our country together. I would just like to encourage everybody to get a flag.”
When driving down Magnolia and seeing the flags at each home, Aden feels excited and proud.
“It’s been a fun, fun project and a meaningful project,” she said.
• Contact Ruthie Robison at 581-7235 or email@example.com.