Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
In past years, Broad Channel’s volunteer firefighters and fellow residents would plant hundreds of flags along the boulevard to create a festive scene and stir local patriotism.
On Sunday, July 2, the tradition was reinstated following a weeklong fundraiser – held to cover flag costs.
Multiple generations of Broad Channel inhabitants gathered at the Memorial Rock on 5th Road in the golden, late-afternoon sun, where the gratitude was palpable.
There, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and friends hosted a DIY media event to thank those who made the proceedings possible, including the American Legion, VFW, Broad Channel Athletic Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Fire Department Volunteers Youth Program, Book Club and Beer Club.
As photos of everyone in attendance were taken for the 2018 Broad Channel Calendar, parents could be heard encouraging little ones to smile and stand tall while an enormous donated American flag was unfurled and held up by the dedicated tykes.
Broad Channel’s Churchill family proudly flies their flags.
Photo By Joanie Wolkoff
Family man John Churchill explained, “The Vollies did this years ago and then the Beer Club, who raise funds for those in need – in addition to sampling various beers as a group – suggested that we try to do it again this summer. We told Ace Hardware we’d need three hundred flags and they said they’d provide them. With the goal of raising those funds in a week’s time, we took to the streets, knocked on doors and handed out flyers to raise the money. All of our kids were out there with us too at one point, and we took pictures. It was great. Broad Channel’s a unique town.”
Amato took a moment to thank all those present for the support and fundraising that made this meaningful moment possible.
“When you meet up on a busy day to stand up as a town for your country, it says a lot about your community,” Amato said. “I also want to do something special for Ace Hardware, as a small business, and make a citation to present to them for providing these flags. I’m proud of Broad Channel!”
Photo by Joanie Wolkoff
Rockaway American Legion member Harry McMann, who’s seen the town through the years and holds the fourth of July dear to his heart, beamed as he watched the youngsters in attendance reverently handle the vibrant stars and stripes.
“It’s inspiring to see kids honoring the flag. It’s very nice,” said McMann. “This event will give them peace and respect.”