Flag Day sees ‘Old Glory’ returned atop Goodyear’s Union City facility
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 9:40 pm
When the United States celebrated Flag Day recently, Goodyear Union City returned the U.S. flag to a place of prominence, displaying it again at the plant’s carbon black towers.
Representatives from the United Steelworkers Local 878L and the Tennessee National Guard’s 168th Military Police Battalion in Dyersburg joined the company in raising the flag.
“Eight and a half years ago, a handful of terrorists struck our country at its core,” said Chapy Ingersoll, Goodyear Union City’s facilities manager. “Within a short time, a group of Goodyear associates mounted a flag on our carbon black towers.
“We’re all proud to see ‘Old Glory’ flying in honor of those who died in the attacks.”
Two Goodyear employees have had sons lose their lives in Iraq in fighting that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
U.S. Army Sgt. Dustin Laird was killed in 2006 while Sgt. John Mele died in 2007.
Other Goodyear employees have sons and relatives who have served in the armed forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The flags on Goodyear’s towers are a symbol of us coming together to support the U.S. military’s efforts against this aggression against us,” said Sgt. Kevin Terrett, a Goodyear retiree and member of the Dyersburg National Guard unit. “It was an honor to walk by this gate and see the flag on top of the tower. It’s an honor to me, personally, to see it go up again.
“I commend everyone who has taken time and effort to make sure this flag goes up and stays up.”
“I learned from an early age to respect the American flag,” said tire builder Barry Sowell, who worked to have the flag returned atop the plant’s carbon black towers. “The flag has always been important to me. I’m sure glad to see it put back up.”
Terrett noted the flag, with 50 stars and 13 stripes, has remained in its current form for longer than any time in U.S. history. He said, in fact, one of the flag’s names “Old Glory,” has a Tennessee connection.
William Driver, a 19th-century U.S. ship captain, coined the phrase “Old Glory” after family and friends presented the flag to him as a gift. Information available from the Smithsonian Institution states that Driver carried the flag with him on his subsequent sea voyages. He retired as a ship captain, eventually settling in Nashville, where he continued to display the flag on patriotic occasions and holidays.
In 1922, the Driver family donated the flag to the Smithsonian Institution, where it is currently displayed in the National Museum of American History.
According to the Internet site, Wikipedia, Capt. Driver’s flag and the flag which flew over Fort McHenry during the British bombardment of 1814, and which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” are considered the two most historically-significant flags in the country and two of the greatest treasures of the Smithsonian.
Published in The Messenger 6.21.10