A Heritage of Patriotism
One of the hallmarks of All Saints is an enduring love of our country and an appreciation for those who have served in the armed forces. Those feelings have been expressed through important symbols over the years. In the early years of the parish, there was a flagpole in front of the church on Mamaroneck (now 40th) Avenue. While we are not sure either when it was erected, or when it came down, it is shown in a picture from 1927.
Inside the church, there has always been both an American flag and an Episcopal Church flag. Some time during or just after World War II, the “Victory Altar” was installed on the west side of the nave. Behind it, as the photograph from about 1950 shows, hung the framed war service honor roll posters. Those posters were eventually replaced with engraved brass name plates honoring those who served up through the Korean Conflict.
It was felt by many that those who have served in the military since the Korean Conflict deserved to be recognized. However, no practical plan could be formulated. In 2017, two small events led to an idea. First, a photograph of the church and rectory came to light. Second, an unsightly and nearly dead tree was finally removed by the Parks Department. That tree was about two feet in front of the place that the flagpole once stood. The Rector suggested that as part of our 125th anniversary, we erect a new flagpole and dedicate it to all those who have served in the armed forces. The idea was approved by the Vestry, and after only one asking, the parishioners donated enough funds to complete the project.
On June 10, as these photos show, we dedicated the new flagpole during the 10:00 AM service. Fr. Byrne sprinkled the flagpole with holy water and prayed the collect to bless it. Vietnam Veteran, Ed Benedict raised the flag and everyone said the prayer for our armed forces. To close the dedication, Arkady Leytush played America on the carillon.
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