"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."
~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
Our Flag in Bloom on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, CA


From the field where the flag is planted there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean.  The flowers are grown by seed companies.  It's a beautiful place close to Vandenberg AFB.

This 2002 floral flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834.  The area of the flag is 6.65 acres and is the first to be planted with 5 pointed stars comprised of White Larkspur.
Each star is 24 feet in diameter; each stripe is 30 feet wide.

The flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each for a total of more than 2 million flowers.  You can drive by this flag on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, CA.

Aerial photo courtesy of Bill Morson


Copied for easier reading below.
The Veteran
by Kevin E. Dalgleish
He fended off the question,
of his eager little son,
about a war long since past,
and the things that he had done.

As he avoided every query,
in thought he wandered back,
to a time best forgotten,
when his squad had been attacked.

It was very hot that day,
when they stopped beside a stream,
just a short and cooling break,
long enough to fill canteens.
As he took in his surrounding,
he still could not believe,
that the beauty there before him,
was at war and so bereaved.
Then a burst of automatic fire,
brought him back to here and now,
as friends that were just laughing,
were ripped and torn somehow.
Without a thought of safety,
he administered to his men,
and those who could returned fire,
as he shouted above the din.
The next thing that he knew,
it felt like he was dead,
a Corpsman was leaning over him,
trying to patch him where he bled.
Then he was on the chopper,
with a million dollar wound,
his time in country was over,
but his guilt would start real soon.
When the surgery was over,
and the drugs had all worn off,
he asked about his buddies,
and how many of them were lost.
He couldn't find an answer,
then someone found a way,
it was in his service record,
he alone survived that day.

So, whenever his son asks him,
about the picture of all those guys,
him and them in uniform,
he saw tears in his Dad's eyes.

    Kevin Dagleish is a County resident
and Vietnam Veteran. This reflection
on Veteran's Day was written for a
class assignment at Yuba College.

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