City Receives Blue Star Flag

CONTACT: Jamie Hatfield, 334-361-3649

DATE: July 27, 2009

Prattville Mayor Jim Byard, Jr. received a Blue Star Service Flag from Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Director Doni Ingram, Friday, at a ceremony with family members of the Alabama National Guard’s 217th MP Company. The ceremony included a video link with soldiers of the MP Unit, based in Prattville and now deployed at Ft. Dix, N.J., subsequent to heading for a year long assignment in Iraq. The link included Senator Jeff Sessions and U.S. Representatives Bobby Bright and Mike Rogers.

“This flag will hang at City Hall in honor and in tribute to the men and women of our own 217th MP Company, as well as all of our soldiers deployed in harms-way,” said Mayor Byard. The tradition of hanging a Blue Star Service Flag originated during WWI for families with relatives serving in the military during war time. The blue star represents hope and pride for the loved-one.

“I appreciate being included in this touching ceremony. Although these troops haven’t reached their final destination, they’ve been gone long enough to miss important family milestones. One solider got to see his young son walk for the first time during the video conference. It was an emotional moment,” continued the Mayor.