Steamboat Springs American Legion Post 44 Vice Commander Win Dermody hopes Routt County residents will remember those serving in the military come Memorial Day on May 30.
To help raise awareness, Dermody will be delivering service flags to people who have a family member actively serving in the military, domestic and abroad. Dermody said he tries to deliver the flags, sometimes called blue star banners, to the family in his American Legion uniform.
“I tell them about the history,” Dermody said. “I thank them for their son or daughter serving, and I give them a salute. I have everything from people break down in tears or you name it. It’s very moving.”
The blue stars on the flag represent how many family members are serving in the military. A gold star denotes a family member who died while serving.
Dermody said he knows of about 10 Routt County families that will be hanging the banner in a window at their home, but he knows there are more families out there.
Dermody served domestically in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1966 and was chief of section of a 105 mm howitzer artillery gun. He encourages people who have a family member serving to call him at 970-871-1343 so they can receive a banner.
Dermody said families started to hang the banners in 1917, and they were popular during World War II. Their popularity sagged because of anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War, Dermody said, but they were revived after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Dermody said displaying the flags is important because “the war on terrorism touches every neighborhood.”
“This is just one symbol,” he said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com