Bell Tower Green flagpole commemoration honors veterans

Published 12:10 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

SALISBURY — For veterans, the American flag doesn’t just represent the country they live in, but the very ideals that made them want to join the military in the first place. It may have taken longer than expected for the Bell Tower Green flagpole to be installed, but people on Wednesday finally got the chance to celebrate it after months of delays.

To coincide with Flag Day, the city of Salisbury and the Rowan County Veterans Council held a ceremony to commemorate the new flagpole that was just put in less than a month ago. Many veterans, residents and local officials turned out to see the flag raising. Salisbury resident Jane Smith-Steinberg read a prepared statement about her perspective on why the flagpole should be in the park. Mayor Karen Alexander and council member Harry McLaughlin also spoke about the flag and its significance to Salisbury and beyond.

“It is a great demonstration of how citizens can affect change in the community and also respect the processes that must be gone through to achieve this wonderful result,” Alexander said.

Philanthropist Ronnie Smith was one of the driving forces to get the flagpole installed so it could be appreciated by everyone. Smith felt overjoyed to have the ceremony go off smoothly after all this time. To him, this day started as soon as they decided to have a flag in the Bell Tower Green Park.

“It’s a great day for Salisbury, it’s a great day for Rowan County, not only for our citizens and our veterans, but a great day for America,” Smith said. “It’s a community effort and we’re just as proud as we can be.”

World War II veteran Jim Deal made it out to the park to see the American flag get raised after waiting a while for it to arrive. For all of the veterans who came out to see the flagpole, it was a reminder that the sacrifices they made have not been ignored, but revered.

“I enjoyed the ceremony, I thought it was very nice,” Deal said. “That flag means victory for us. It means a whole lot to Salisbury veterans and the whole country. It means a whole lot to have a flag fly in a place like this.”