GROVE, Okla. – Perched over the Sail Boat Bridge arch are 24 patriotic flags, each one recognizing the price and sacrifice of freedom and beckoning all those who cross Grand Lake to take inventory of the many freedoms they enjoy in America.

The American Flag, the Oklahoma flag, a POW flag, a “Back the Blue” police flag, a Fire Department flag, and flags representing each military branch, were raised on Tuesday morning during an American Legion ceremony.

The American Legion National Commander Paul Dillard, state American Legion Commander Charlie O’Leary were in attendance as members of the American Legion Grove Oklahoma Post 178 participated in the flag-raising ceremony followed by a visit to the F-4 Phantom display next to Ferra Aerospace in the Grove Industrial Park.

“This is the second time in 91 years of the Grove American Legion, that the National Commander has visited,” said Lee Cathey, Grove American Legion Commander.

State Reps. Josh West, R-Grove, and Blake Stephens, R-Tahlequah, were joined by Grove city councilmembers Ivan Devitt and Steve Thomas ll for the ceremony.  

Grove vice-mayor Devitt read a proclamation establishing the American Legion Freedom Park at the site.

“We are proud to have an ‘active’ American Legion in Grove,” Devitt said after the ceremony.

The F-4 Phantom ranks among the most important military aircraft in the history of the United States. Grove’s F-4 Phantom Display honors those whose lives have been touched by the F-4 Phantom.

The American Legion Post 178 is a non-profit organization that benefits the local veterans and youth. The Grove American Legion consists of the Auxiliary, The Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Riders.