By John Hamrick
“A chill came over me and a tear started to rol. Wow, a phone call from the National Parks Association on behalf of the Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial, requesting my help!”
I’m John Hamrick and I have been a professional flagpole climber for 15 years!
Flash Back – To the summer of1982, when as a family, my dad, a Navy vet and “at sea” during the Pearl Harbor attack, took us to Hawaii to visit the Arizona Memorial. This being one of the few times I had seen my dad so emotional, viewing the museum and reliving that era. As a young man, the impression this experience made on me was everlasting.
Fast Forward -This year is the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. With record numbers of visitors taking in the Arizona Memorial, the National Parks Association (NPA) wants to make sure the Memorial is in “tip-top shape.” With the flagpole on top of the Memorial desperately in need of repair/restoration, two months ago, a lady inthe NPA found my video, “Flag Day,” on You Tube (youtu.be/317XiSB_z8Y) and asked if I would be able to do the repair. I was asked to submit a bid and told her I would get back to her the next day with more information. Meanwhile, sharing the story with friends and family in Southwest Florida and Indiana, receiving positive feedback and questions, I went down to our local Key West American Legion Post 28, of which I’m a member, and began sharing my story with Commander Dan Dedeo and various other members of the Post. The hands started coming out – they, too, wanted a hand in this!
Post 28 hasoffered to cover my airfare and lodging for the trip, and I am donating my “climb” for the cause. This is now a reality and an honor of which I am extremely proud! Happy that our Key West American Legion Post 28 is donating for this project, and now, many others want to know how they can help!
As there will be more expenses incurred for the Flagpole Restoration Project of the Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial 75th Anniversary event, we would love to have you be a part of this, too. Thank you for having confidence in me. We do this with a handshake, not an invoice!
Help Support Flagpole Restoration
Please send your donations to:
American Legion Post 28
5610 College Road
Key West, FL 33040-4310
Attention: Arizona Memorial Flagpole Restoration