Independence Day tradition at Simonton Lake salutes veterans

NOW: Independence Day tradition at Simonton Lake salutes veterans

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ELKHART, Ind. --- An Independence Day tradition at Simonton Lake, the annual Flag Retirement Ceremony that salutes and honors our country's veterans.

The ceremony is now honoring a late veteran by the name of Dwight Bowser.

“What inspired me to do this was a friend of mine, Dwight Bowser, who did this for 20 years plus on Simonton Lake, and he passed last year," says Bob Evans, the organizer of the ceremony. "So I decided to do this event this year in memory of Dwight Bowser.

Hundreds of American flags were brought to the ceremony to be retired properly, but one flag stood tall and waved over the lake for the first time.

“My father served in the Korean War and passed away in '76, when I was a young boy," says Troy Whetton about his father. "And I was presented the flag off his coffin, and the flag has been in it’s case. Never unfurled since nineteen 1976, and I thought it would be symbolic to raise it today and fly it for the first time.”

The ceremony reminds the small community of our nation's roots and the pride in the American flag.

“Times aren’t as good as they should be right now in the world and our country, but today I saw a lot of patriotism," Evans says. "I saw people pledge their allegiance to the flag, people salute the flag, people put their hand over their heart.”

Evans can't wait to continue the tradition for years to come, in honor of his late friend.

“Those colors; red, white, and blue, they don’t run and neither do I," says Evans with pride.


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