Fire Department: The Big Flag
In 2009 a private citizen who wished to give something back to the community that supported his business and family for many years donated funds to the City of Forest Grove to place a flag pole capable of supporting a large 30' by 60' United States Flag on Pacific Avenue between Laurel and Maple Streets. Shortly after this, the firefighters of Forest Grove Fire & Rescue became the keepers of the flag, lowering it to half mast when ordered, replacing it when it needs to be repaired, and coordinating events under it to honor the greater meaning of the flag in our society.
The large 30'x60' flag is easily visible from a variety of places around town and flies during the summer season typically from Memorial Day until early October. To avoid costly repairs to the larger and more expensive flag, a 20' x 30' version is flown during the stormy fall and winter seasons. After the initial donation, the cost of repairing and replacing the flags has been honorably taken over by the Forest Grove Firefighter's Association. Our not for profit Firefighter's Association raises money through pancake breakfasts, and private donations to keep the colors of our country flying proudly over Forest Grove. You can support our flag by making a donation at our Forest Grove Fire Station today!
Every Memorial Day, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue coordinates a ceremony to recognize the true meaning of Memorial Day as much more then the "unofficial start of summer". Firefighters are joined by police officers, veterans, active duty military, Boy Scouts, and others as local leaders speak about what Memorial Day means to them and finally wrap up the ceremony by raising the large flag into place complete with an flyover by F-15 Eagle fighters from the Oregon Air National Guard out of Portland.
On September 11th Firefighters once again gather with their neighbors under the flag to honor the day that changed America. On hand during this ceremony is a true relic of our history as the solid steel I-beam recovered at the World Trade Center site is on display as the flag flies above it. At the conclusion of the ceremony people can actually touch this damaged and rusting piece of steel and remember in their own way a day that defined a generation of Americans.