MILTON — The Milton Police Department hadn't had an American flag flying at its building since its current location opened in 1999.
That changed this week, when members of Milton’s NJROTC raised a flag that WoodmanLife Chapter 906 donated.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, Naval Air Station Whiting Field, the Florida Highway Patrol and Milton Fire Department were among those who watched the flag-raising during a brief ceremony.
Police Chief Tony Tindell said, "I wanted this event to be truly about raising this flag and what the flag means to each of us. I know many of us have our own special meanings attached to the flag and I’m not going to drag this out very long but I will tell you a couple of mine."
Tindell’s grandfather, he said, died in the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, so he never met him. "Seeing a folded flag there on my mother’s dresser just always made me think, ‘That’s my grandfather,'" Tindell said. "So growing up, each time I could see the flag I felt that’s my grandfather."
Tindell also described seeing the flag when he was leaving Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, SC., on Dec. 17, 1981. "That was the prettiest thing I think I ever saw," he said. "Plus, I was glad to be out of boot camp."
WoodmenLife — a nonprofit insurance company founded in 1890 out of Omaha, Neb. — also has donated flags for the Milton Fire Department and Milton City Hall.