GRAND BAY, Ala. (WALA) – The First Baptist Church in Grand Bay is honoring those that have served, and are currently serving, by displaying over sixty American flags along the road.
Charles Sessions, a member at the church, told FOX10 News how the July 4th tradition began and what he, along with fellow church members, hope folks get from viewing the flags as they drive by.
“All these flags…we have 69 names attached to 63 different flags representing 63 different families and family members of this church and this community. Plus, we have a flag for each branch of the service,” said Sessions.
Sessions said the idea came from the church’s music minister, Charlie Steelman.
“He had seen it at another church one time and it really struck me to my heart – the idea of honoring all the members of our church’s family members, who had served at different times and at different wars. We want to show our patriotism but we also want to show our love and devotion to those who have served before us and to those who are serving now. We’ve had a lot of people who are giving us positive feedback on what we’ve had here. We’ve not had anything in the form of negative at it, whatsoever,” said Sessions.
Sessions said this is an important display of patriotism because some gave a little…and some gave all.
“We want people to know we stand for our country and we stand for our religion. We want our religious beliefs and our love for our country to shine, for everybody to see. We just want to be that beacon and that source of inspiration for the future and that bit of devotion for those that went before. I’d like for [drivers] to just stop and think that the right they have to be driving down this street today comes from the lives of some of the people listed on some of the flags you see here today. As my father once told me: ‘I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll go to war and fight for you to have the right to say that,’ said Sessions.
Sessions said he expects the display to grow over the years to come. Most importantly, it is about teaching a life lesson.
“I hope and pray that the youth of tomorrow realize one day it may be their turn to lay down their life to protect the freedoms for the people that they love. And I hope that they get this message and they are willing to do so,” he said.