AMY HARDER – THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
BELLINGHAM – A veterans memorial flagpole that toppled in a November 2005 windstorm will rise again in Fairhaven if enough donations are made.
So far, $10,000 has been donated by Summit Construction to replace the wooden pole with more durable steel, said Stephanie Johnson, board member of the Old Fairhaven Association and chair of a committee set up to restore the flagpole.
“A lot of it is just seeing the flag flying in Fairhaven,” Johnson said. “That has a significant meaning in the community.”
The original flagpole was raised at 12th Street and Mill Avenue on Memorial Day in 1987 to honor Whatcom County’s veterans.
That pole was moved to the corner of 12th Street and Finnegan Way, across from Fairhaven Library, in 2004 to make way for a new building.
The total cost to replace the pole will be about $26,000, Johnson said.
The committee hopes to hold a dedication ceremony next Memorial Day.
Donations can be put in jars at various Fairhaven businesses or mailed to the association.
Committee members, which include three veterans who helped establish the memorial, hope to add park features to the site, such as benches.
John Servais, owner of Fairhaven.com and an Old Fairhaven Association board member, said the value of the flag is intrinsic to the joy and honor residents gain from it.
“A rose is a rose,” Servais said. “It’s important and it’s something we really value.”