Ponchatoula, La. (WGNO)- There's a very special group of men in Ponchatoula. They are known as "The Minute Men", and they have an important mission.
News with a Twist's Kenny Lopez explains how they are ready to jump into action on a minute's notice!
Beyond the railroad tracks in Ponchatoula, in the distance, high in the sky flies a 177-foot high American flag.
"The flag that flies all the time are 20 by 30 feet and they cost us $700 per year. We go through about five of these flags a year," Ronnie Perrin, Chairman of "The Minute Men", said.
It's no easy task to take care of such a large flag. "The Minute Men" organization started back in 1985. The flag pole in which the flag is on used to be an old microwave tower.
"We thought about the Minute Men and the Revolution and how they were able to be called into service on a minute's notice, and that's what we do. Living in Louisiana, we get a lot of storms, and we need to make sure we protect the flag, and get it down, so we don't lose it," he said.
For Ronnie, all of this is a patriotic effort!
"I have a lot of pride in flying this flag. I didn't serve, but many in my family did. The flag pole is dedicated to the living and deceased veterans from the Ponchatoula area. We actually have a list of their names buried underneath the flag pole. It's like a time capsule that will be uncovered sometime in the future," he said.
"The Minute Men" consists of anywhere from 35-100 members depending on the year. Each member pays their $25 dues.
Every Fourth of July, they put up a different flag. That flag is 40 by 70 feet, which is 2800 square feet, which is larger than some people's homes! This is their special way to honor our country on America's birthday. The Blue Star By-Way Marker that is at the foot of this flag pole was dedicated on July 4, 2007 when the flag was raised. It was a project of the Ponchatoula Gardenettes with myself as chairperson of that
project. It was paid with donations from the Ponchatoula Gardenettes,
Community Garden Club, and the American Legion Post 47 and American Legion
Auxiliary Unit 47 in Ponchatoula. The Gardenettes place flowers at the
marker each year for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
If you'd like to help donate to the maintenance of the flag:
"The Minute Men"
P.O. Box 849
Ponchatoula, LA 70454