Flagpole to honor victims of 9/11
By Ashley Luthern
On this Flag Day, a national day of recognition for the Stars and Stripes, one local Boy Scout is kicking off his efforts to install a flagpole at Poland Township Park.
Greg Haylett, 16, said the flagpole, his Eagle Scout project, will be used by the Poland Youth Soccer Association and other organizations for flag-raising ceremonies at the park located off Struthers Road.
It also will serve as a 9/11 memorial. He said the idea for his Eagle Scout project came to him during history class at Poland Seminary High School when other students were discussing conspiracy theories surrounding President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“We started talking about 9/11, and a lot of people had conspiracy theories behind it and it really made me think about it,” he said. “Honestly, even if it was a conspiracy theory to whatever extent, it was still a terrible thing that happened and a lot of people lost their lives. People tend not to look at it from that point of view and I wanted to have a reminder.”
Haylett wants the flag to fly 24 hours a day, but according to custom, the flag must be illuminated at all times so Haylett’s design includes lights at a base. The total estimated project cost is $1,000.
Barry Haylett, Greg’s father and scout master, said Eagle Scout projects must be approved by the troop’s scout master, troop committee and the local institution that the project intends to benefit, Poland Township in this instance.
Township trustees have already agreed to the project, Barry said.
“It makes me feel very proud, especially all the effort he put into this. He’s only 16, and to complete the Eagle Scout at that age, it just makes me very proud,” he said.
Greg isn’t the only person in his 24-person troop to undertake an Eagle Scout project recently. Matt Cowles built raised flower beds at Shepherd of the Valley for residents to use, and Greg’s brother, Ben Haylett, soon will decide on his own Eagle Scout project, Barry said.
Greg had his last day of 10th grade Monday and will begin collecting monetary or material donations today. Anyone interested in donating should call 330-542-0343.
Greg said he plans to install the flagpole memorial in July with the help of his troop and will dedicate it Sept. 11, 2011 — the 10th anniversary of 9/11.