Scout troops camp out to protect American flag display in Mooresville

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A beautiful sight in Mooresville as more than 600 American flags decorate the grounds of the local YMCA. This display is ahead of the big Independence Day celebrations this weekend.

But what happens to the flags if no one is around? It turns out several scout troops are stepping in to protect the display while most of us are sleeping.

“We have hope, we have hope in America. When we see these, we see Americans. This is what we’re all about.” said Cotton Ketchie. “It just makes my heart explode.”

Flag flying under windy skies, young men standing guard to protect America’s symbol.

The Lowe’s YMCA grounds have been home to an annual tradition for years.

Not only will they host one of Iredell Counties biggest fireworks displays this weekend to celebrate Independence Day, but to honor those that served, the Scouts helped set up over six-hundred American flags. Each one remembering a servicemember of first responder.

“The names of veterans are placed on and in memorial of, and then they can take those flags at the end of the fourth of July weekend.” said Ryan Moore with troop 171.

Troop leaders say not only are the Scouts keeping a watchful eye on the flags, but it gives them a deeper sense of what they’re protecting.

“I think it’s going to make me think of these guys that help serve and protect us from all of the dangers of the world.” said scout Aedan Klein.

The grounds have become a place for families to come, enjoy a sunny afternoon or reflect on what the holiday is all about. Especially coming out of the pandemic.

“It is unbelievable to listen to how people are so thankful to be back in person and operating in a semi-normal basis.” Paul Summerville with the Exchange Club of Mooresville told WBTV.

The Exchange Club has been putting this on since 2005, and it’s grown bigger ever since. Saturday will be the pinnacle of the event with live bands, fireworks and of course the field of flags. But through it all, standing tall will be 600 reminders of where we were, and what we could be.

“It’s just so important especially in times like now that we’re dealing with in our country that we remember those that keep us safe.” said Beth Packard with the club.

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