THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
About 50 persons braved a cold, north wind Monday to pay tribute to T/Sgt. Albert Flowers, USAF, whose memory was honored at the 115th memorial flag-raising service at the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Memorial on the Town Common.
With spectator and participant alike bundled against the wind, members of the Tarboro High School JROTC Color Guard first retired the colors for E4/SP4 Thomas R. Bradley before receiving the American flag from Flowers’ widow, Reva, to hoist it up the main, center flagpole at the memorial.
Flowers served from 1970 until 1990 as an information technician and security specialist and was retired from the Air Force at the time of his death.
As the Air Force flag was hoisted at the start of the ceremony, Flowers’ wife watched as it climbed, straightening in the brisk wind.
She said, “It gave me memories of 20 years in service to his country and the duties he endured. I’m very proud of his service.”
Reva Flowers, who had wiped away tears during the brief ceremony, became emotional during her remarks to the gathered crowd.
“I want to thank you all for coming to honor my husband. I want to thank you for this ceremony and for caring enough to come.”
Afterwards, Flowers looked up at her late husband’s flag, standing out in the wind, and said, “It will always remind me of all the people who took time today to honor him and for the love and respect they showed him.
Rev. Robert Farmer, of St. Stephen’s Missionary Baptist Church, delivered the invocation and benediction and led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Rev. Kelly Andrews, of Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, sang “The U.S. Air Force,” also known by “Wild Blue Yonder” as well as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
The 116th flag raising will be held on Monday, April 1 at 11 a.m.