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|Museum to receive beacon for community|
Next week Secretary of State Jay Dardenne will present the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum a flag for its new 45-foot-tall flagpole.
The museum now has one of the largest flagpoles in the area thanks to the donation of the flagpole by Kenny Scott and his wife, Laurie.
Area legislators, schools, the public and Gov. Bobby Jindal were invited to participate in the flag dedication ceremony at the museum at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23.
It will fly 24 hours, day and night, seven days a week and have the mandatory illumination around it for night-time display.
A memorial plaque will be erected beside the flag to honor Scott's father, Albert "Red" Scott, who fought in the Korean War, and Laurie Scott's father, John Pruett Jr., who fought in World War II.
The Scotts recently donated the flagpole to the aviation museum after they learned museum officials were unable to purchase one due to budget restraints.
Nell Calloway, director of the aviation museum, said the Scotts donation helped save the museum more than $6,000. She thinks it's appropriate a facility that honors America's military men and women has one of the tallest flagpoles in the region.
"The flag is something the soldiers live by," Calloway said. "It's what drives them on when on the battlefield, and it's what they go by. So, to have something that's like a beacon to the community — I think, is really meaningful for the museum.
"The main thing about it, for me, is military regulation says you have to have lights on a flag that you leave up 24/seven. Well we haven't been doing that, so we've been out of military code, which goes against everything we stand for. So, this was kind of an answer to our prayers because we were looking for a flagpole, but we didn't realize how costly they were. We need to have one that makes a statement. We are a military museum. That's what we are about, and that flagpole really makes a statement."
Ray Anding, Kenny Compton and a crew from Highlines Construction also assisted in erecting the flagpole at the museum.
"We were drinking coffee at McDonald's and Ray (Anding) was talking to Jerry (Hicks, Ouachita Parish School Board member) about trying to find a flagpole," Scott said. "I said, 'If you want a flagpole, I have a flagpole.' They thought I was talking about a piece of pipe in the ground. I said, 'no, it's 45-foot … a regulation pole, and if you want it, you can have it.' So we dug it up, loaded it up, brought it over here and had it in the ground by dinner."
Calloway added, "I cannot tell you how excited we were. It's so much better than anything we felt like we could afford to do."
During Monday's event, Calloway plans on having an honor guard present and have a local high school band perform music. She already has Baylee Reagan, 8, of West Monroe booked to sing the Star-Spangled Banner for the ceremony.