Flags add finishing touch to Public Square Park
By Karen Hall
The City of Lewisburg honored its heroes with a ceremony at the Public Square Park Friday morning, after the Fourth of July Parade.
Hundley Ford Sr., Commander of VFW Post 5109, was the Master of Ceremonies. Paul Recker, Commander of American Legion Post 39, placed the special cover on the chair for those who are, or were, prisoners of war or missing in action.
Two model ships, handmade from scratch by Retired Col. Richard Knie, who had his 90th birthday this week, were on display. Knie served in World War II, Vietnam, and Korea.
Tables were set up in the park for the ships, and for the refreshments which were served, and chairs were provided for the audience.
Retired Methodist minister Leland Carden gave the opening prayer. Carden, in his role as president of the Lewisburg Downtown Alliance, has been involved with the creation of the park from the very beginning, when students from O'More School of Design proposed a "pocket park" to transform what had been a vacant lot for many years. A grant obtained through the LDA paid for much of the work on the park, with former mayor Bob Phillips, who owned the site, paying the remainder.
Once the park was completed, Phillips officially transferred ownership of the land to the City of Lewisburg.
Margaret Barche, Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post 5109, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Quartermaster Mark Young, a Vietnam veteran, did a beautiful job of singing the national anthem.
Thanks to anonymous donors, the flagpoles, and the American, Tennessee, and Lewisburg flags, are the finishing touch for the "ghost building," which separates the park from the sidewalk.
Eagle Scout Laramie Plott carried the American flag and its pole up the ladder and placed it in the prepared bracket. The flag had flown over the nation's capitol, and was handed to Plott by Christine Hierholzer, mother of Sgt. David Hierholzer, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
Scout Master Tommy Helton put the Tennessee flag, which had flown over the capitol in Nashville, in its bracket.
Finally, Plott made another trip up the ladder with the Lewisburg city flag, handed to him by former mayors Phillips and Barbara Woods, and current mayor Jim Bingham.
The late Kenny Ring, Lewisburg's Director of Public Works, was remembered by Phillips.
"All we lacked was the handicap entrance," Phillips said about the construction of the park. "Kenny told me he had some ideas, but I couldn't understand them."
Nevertheless, Phillips told Ring to go ahead with his plan for the entrance, which now has a plaque set in the sidewalk which memorializes Ring forever.
"Kenny Ring not only knew how to get things done, he was a man of vision," said Phillips.
"Thank you Kenny!" he concluded, calling for a round of applause for Ring's family members who were in the audience.
Ring, 55, left behind a wife, a son, five sisters, three brothers, a stepdaughter, and a grandson when he died unexpectedly in December 2013.
Returning to the lectern, Ford said, "Thank you to all of the Lewisburg leaders who invited the veterans to participate today. Have a wonderful Fourth of July."