I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.

At the start of each of its meetings, members of the Valley Blazers 4-H Club recite this pledge.

Recently they took a portion of that to heart through a local service project that not only serves the community but also honors individuals who are part of it. Called “Flags of Honor,” the club project included the installation of a line of several flag poles at the Redwood Falls cemetery with the intent to raise a number of flags during special dates on the calendar.

The idea for the project started this past fall when the club was looking for a service project. 

Veterans Day 2018 was approaching, and a call was made to Chad Draeger, a member of the Redwood Falls cemetery board, to determine if there was a need for service to recognize veterans during the holiday. Draeger attended the next 4-H meeting and presented a project the 4-H Club unanimously voted yes to and named it the “Flags of Honor.”

From that point the 4-H Club members spent time throughout the year with local experts learning about flag etiquette, speaking with local organizations for funding and hosting their own fundraiser of picking and selling sweet corn.

Once funding goals were met and products ordered, 4-H members and their families volunteered their time and service to install the line-up of flags.

“Every month at our meeting we recite our 4-H Pledge, ‘I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.’ I was excited that our club voted ‘yes’ to a project that follows one of our four pledges - to use our hands to larger service,” said Lydia Bruns, who is a second year Valley Blazer 4-H Club member.

The goal of the “Flags of Honor” project is to honor local veterans and civil service individuals who are buried in the Redwood Falls cemetery. The project includes 16 flags that are placed down the main road of the cemetery which include: American flags, flags of the military branches, POW/MIA flags, police remembrance flag, firefighter remembrance flag and emergency medical service flag.

The holidays when these flags will be raised include: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

“We did our work with your loved ones in mind. As a club we would like to invite the community to celebrate the first time the flags are raised and acknowledge the honor our loved ones have given to our community and our country,” said Bruns.

The Flags of Honor ceremony will involve raising the flags, a patriotic program and refreshments. It will be held this Sunday (Nov. 10) at 12 p.m. at the Redwood Falls cemetery.

The Valley Blazers 4-H Club sponsored this event, with assistance from the following organizations: Redwood Falls Lions Club, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Redwood Falls Rotary Club, Redwood Falls American Legion Auxiliary, Redwood Falls Police Department, Redwood Falls Fire Department and Thrivent Financial.