By Jasmine Willis
WAYLAND — The Wayland American Legion donated two flags to the local library as a thank you for continued service to the community.
On Feb. 19 the two pillars of the community joined forces to honor area veterans with an American Flag and New York State Flag. The flags were placed in the community room at the Wayland Free Library.
Kevin Mark, Wayland American Legion post commander purchased the flags from Fred’s Flags. He set them up at the library with a desk and chairs between them.
Kay Thomas, Wayland Free Library board president, Brenda Koch, Wayland Free Library librarian, and Jennifer Schultz, Wayland Free Library librarian have been keeping the little historical library going in this pandemic.
Thomas said the whole library really appreciates the donation of the new flags.
“This is very much appreciated by everyone here at the library,” she said. “We have always had a great partnership with the American Legion. They are very good neighbors.”
Thomas mentioned the importance of what the library brings to the community throughout this pandemic. The library has kept up with virtual programs and curbside pickup.
“One of the things we are lacking is volunteers. It is like that across the board with everyone. The volunteer spirit in the community is lacking,” she said. “We all grew up in a different era when volunteering was something you did all of the time. We have tried several times to get a volunteer group, but no one wants to get involved anymore.”
Mark agreed that volunteering is a lost commodity within the community. He mentioned losing many people who used to help in various projects at the legion.
“This year has been hard on us at the legion too. We are trying to hold our own,” he said.
Thomas said she looks forward to when programs and events can be held in the community room again.
“We will love having the flags at the library. They are new and refreshing in the community room,” she said.
Mark said the library is one of the beacons in the community that has been holding strong in these hard times.
“The library is very much needed in this community. It has a strong history and good solid roots in the community. We love to support them whenever we can. We heard they needed to upgrade their flags and we were happy to help out,” he said. “The facility has always been very well maintained. It is one of the many pillars that shines in our community. Without our library our town would not be what it is today.”
“I want to thank the ladies at the library for keeping our history alive. They are keeping books and newspapers alive. I want them to know how much they are appreciated,” Mark continued.
Mark said one of his focuses in the community at the moment is proper flag etiquette.
“Please service your flags. If they have been ripped and damaged in this harsh winter take them to us. We want to thank you for flying them, but you need to properly service them. If they are ruined, they need to be taken down and replaced. We sell American-made American Flags here at the legion. We take care of them all year long. We will take them right now. You don’t have to wait until Flag Day to care for your flags,” he said.
Mark said the legion had to work to overcome great losses to their events and traditions too. They worked on the building maintenance during two months of shutdown. They have carried on with the lesser-known traditions of holding funerals for veterans and veteran families. They still continued to honor veterans at graveside ceremonies.
The Wayland American Legion is holding a Texas Hold’Em on Feb. 27 at noon sharp. There is a buy in of $100. Food will be served at this event at 2 p.m. You must be at least 21 years old to participate in this event. Ten percent of all proceeds will go to Wayland Veterans Aid Fund.