31 May 2011

Flag Tribute to Veterans Mostly Ignored in East Omaha

As the day of tribute to veterans of the grand United States of America dawned in eastern Omaha, my bicycling route was brought up short upon noticing the situation with the flags at TD Ameritrade Park.

The magnificent colors of "Old Glory" were flying at the top of the pole. Having read that flags should be shown at half-staff in recognition of the nation's veterans:

"Gov. Dave Heineman has ordered that U.S. and Nebraska flags be flown at half-staff until noon on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.
"Gov. Heineman said, 'Our flags will fly at half-staff as a tribute to the courage and dedication of those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Memorial Day is an opportunity to salute the heroes who have served our nation with honor and those who are serving today.' — (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; May 26, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CT)"

During my subsequent route particular attention was given to how our national symbol was being displayed.

It did not take long to realize the situation of how few flags were actually at half-staff, and it was an obvious minority.

Pictures were all taken before 9 a.m.

The places which deserve recognition for being attentive to this day of veterans, are the following places where the flags were suitably displayed.

  1. Con-Agra Foods - 33 flags gloriously displayed!
  2. Flag display at Con Agra Foods.
    The flag "full-up" in the background was atop the Burlington Building.

  3. Federal Building (near 17th and Dodge Streets)
  4. Gottschalk Freedom Center
  5. Memorial Park (Omaha Parks and Recreation Department); perhaps the most iconic presentation to recognize veterans with the special events held Monday morning
  6. Flag at the monument in Memorial Park.

  7. Midtown Crossing flag at Turner Park; the huge flag flew fine in the winds of a day with winds and temperatures indicative of the pending summer
  8. Midtown Crossing flag on the east side of Turner Park.

    Mutual of Omaha bank.

  9. Mutual of Omaha Bank
  10. Nebraska Medical Center - Clarkson Entry
  11. Clarkson entry - Nebraska Medical Center.

    Durham Outpatient Center - University of Nebraska Medical Center

  12. Nebraska Medical Center - Durham Outpatient Center
  13. Omaha Steel Castings
  14. Omaha Steel Castings company on Farnam Street.

  15. Omaha World-Herald Building
  16. OPPD Energy Plaza
  17. Qwest Center Omaha (managed by the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority)
  18. Large flag being flown at half-staff at the Qwest Center Omaha.

  19. WOWT
  20. WOWT with flag at half-staff
    In the background are two Kiewit Building Group flags flying "full-up."

  21. Zorinsky Federal Building

Only about 29% of the places were displaying the flag at half-staff.

Many more places did not lower their flags in tribute to our American veterans.

This is a list, presented alphabetically as there are so many places that this seemed the proper manner to list the places where flags were "full-up" or not in a lowered position.

  1. American National Bank (downtown)
  2. American Red Cross
  3. American Red Cross.

  4. Burlington Place
  5. Curtis Building (National Park Service offices)

    Curtis Building; regional headquarters of the National Park Service.

  6. Double-tree Hotel
  7. Douglas County Courthouse
  8. Embassy Suites
  9. Embassy Suites.

    Federal Reserve Bank.

  10. Federal Reserve Bank
  11. Former Eagles Club at 24th and Douglas; this building is currently for sale.

    Former Eagles Club.

  12. First National Bank building (two; on west side and atop the structure which is a pinnacle of the downtown Omaha skyline)
  13. First National Data Center
  14. First National Bank, west side. The flag atop the building was also at full height.

    First National Bank green space.

    First National Bank tower.

  15. First National Tower (flag was mostly draped around the pole)
  16. First Presbyterian Church (along Farnam Street)
  17. Former Eagle Building (24th and Douglas; currently for sale)
  18. Gene Leahy Mall - west end (Omaha Parks and Recreation Department)
  19. Flags at west end of Gene Leahy Mall; the flag atop the Paxton is shown in the upper background.

    Hilton Hotel, near the Qwest Center Omaha.

  20. Hilton Garden Inn
  21. Hilton Inn near Qwest (talked with staff here expressing the improper display; they immediately realized their error)
  22. Hruska Building - National Park Service
  23. Kiewit Blackstone Building
  24. Kiewit Plaza
  25. Kutak Rock law firm building
  26. Legal Aid Building (19th and Farnam Streets)
  27. Legal Aid building at 19th and Farnam Streets.

    Near Lewis and Clark Landing, with Ricks Cafe Boatyard in the background.

  28. Lewis and Clark Plaza (Omaha Parks and Recreation Department)
  29. Memorial Park Storz Drive (Omaha Parks and Recreation Department; numerous flags)
  30. Flags along Storz Drive at Memorial Park.
    This picture was taken after the Memorial Day event, but still before noon.

  31. Metropolitan Utilities Building
  32. Metropolitan Utilities District, downtown office.

    Omaha/Douglas Civic Center, County courthouse and atop the building in the background, Kutak-Rock law firm.

  33. Omaha/Douglas Civic Center
  34. Redfield and Company
  35. Rick's Cafe Boatyard
  36. Scottish Rite Masonic Center
  37. Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

  38. Security National Bank (by Blackstone)
  39. Security National Bank facility near the Blackstone.

    Nebraska State Office Building.

  40. State Office Building (State of Nebraska)
  41. TD Ameritrade Park (also managed by the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority)
  42. TDAmeritrade Park.

    Flag by veteran's memorial at Turner Park.

  43. The Paxton
  44. Turner Park by Veteran's monument (Omaha Parks and Recreation Department)
  45. Union Pacific Center
  46. Union Pacific Center; the corporate headquarters.

    United Way building, downtown.

  47. United Way

In comparing those places with flags properly displayed to those where the flags had not been lowered in respect, there is a dramatic difference.

More than 70% of the flags noted were not properly displayed.

A very similar version of this report was provided to Congressman Lee Terry, after he had asked to receive the details. We discussed this at the Memorial Day event at Memorial Park. Some veterans at the same place were also told about the flag situation which had been observed. Where an email was available, this document was also provided to a few of the businesses listed.