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VIDEO: 12-year-old NM girl climbs pole to rescue tattered US flag

Tattered US flag (frankieleon/Flickr)
August 20, 2019

A father and his 12-year-old daughter visited a city park in Albuquerque, N.M. last week when they saw a tattered flag and did something about it.

Bullhead Memorial Park sits next door to Kirtland Air Force Base and the VA Hospital, so the last thing Nick Layman and his daughter Allison expected to see was a mangled flag barely clinging to a flagpole, and they decided it couldn’t be left to such neglect, KRQE News reported.

Allison Layman said, “Torn. The edges were frayed. At the bottom, it was also torn. It was just real bad.”

Nick Layman said, “Within about five minutes, we decided that it just wasn’t right that it was flying like that.”

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He added, “There’s a lot of military active and retired, within this area. For them to see that flag is a slap in the face to them.”

The pair decided to not only get the flag down from the pole, but to also bring attention to the problem.

Allison Layman scurried up the flagpole and unfastened the clips on the flag, while her dad captured it on video, which they released on social media.

“She did her American Ninja Warrior, climbing up the pole,” Nick Layman said.

They also sent out a tweet about what happened, and the Parks & Recreation Department replied by explaining that normally a volunteer group was in charge of the flags and their replacement, but they no longer have contact with them. They added they would replace the flag right away.

The city said they rely on volunteers to not only replace tattered flags but to also help with maintaining the parks. They are in search of volunteers to man Bullhead and are hopeful that will be handled by next month.

“To leave the excuse to the volunteers that they weren’t doing their job, no the city wasn’t doing their job,” Nick Layman said.

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The next day, the flag was replaced, and the city says they will replace the flag twice a year.

“It looks a lot better than the one it did yesterday,” Allison Layman said.

The flag that Allison reclaimed was on the pole for about one year and will be retired to the New Mexico Veterans Memorial, city officials said.

In June, a retired Navy SEAL climbed a flagpole in Virginia Beach, when he saw a frayed and beaten flag hanging.

Dom Raso had just finished up his 3.5-mile morning run when he noticed that the flag flying at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Navy SEAL monument was dangling from just one hook, so he shimmied his way up the pole to correct it.

Raso also took to social media with a video. He said, “I couldn’t go by this flag this morning and not give it everything I had. The gold stars on this monument and the sacrifice that has been made for all us was something I wasn’t just going to pass by.”