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War Veterans and Little Leaguers, a Match Made in Haddonfield

American Legion Post 38 rescues a wayward flag, with a little help from the Haddon Fire Co. No. 1.

This account is from Haddonfield Mayor Tish Colombi:

It was the last game of the Fall Ball baseball season at the Haddonfield Little League Field two weeks ago.

There is a 30-foot flag pole there that the American Legion has donated flags to be flown from. At the end of the season, the “colors are retired” until baseball season starts again in the spring.

As Commander Brian Fitzgerald stood on a ladder to lower the flag, it became stuck and would not come down. After trying for several minutes, I suggested we call the Fire Chief and see if they could send over the ladder truck to help lower the flag.

(All this time, the two teams are standing at the top of the hill hands over their hearts, to watch the flag come down.) Chief (Joe) Riggs called the fire department, found that the emergency men on duty were taking someone to the hospital and could be as long as 30 minutes delayed. Everyone decided to wait.

The two teams started their game and promised to halt play when the flags were untangled and brought down. It was almost an hour until the ladder truck arrived with Craig Jordan and Sam Trotman on board.

They secured the truck and extended the ladder to the top of the flag pole.  Sam Trotman put on his safety harness, ascended the steps of the long ladder to the top and began to untangle the flags. He spent several minutes trying to secure the rope, but the pulley remained stuck.

He then made the decision to remove the flags from the rope, draped them around his neck so they didn’t touch the ground, and descended the long ladder to the bottom. At that time he handed off the flags, one by one, to Dan Colombi and Brian Fitzgerald, who folded each one. They saluted each other and the ceremony ended.

The boys and coaches watching this reverent ceremony broke into applause. These young boys will never forget this event which showed the best of our fire company and their deep respect for our flag and our veterans.

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