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Flag raising ceremony honors Chippewa Valley veterans

Altoona (WQOW)- The stars and stripes were raised high above Altoona on Friday in honor of all who have served our country from the Chippewa Valley.

A massive 40x80 foot American flag was raised atop the 140 feet tall flagpole in River Prairie Park as part of the new Chippewa Valley Veterans Tribute.

Hundreds of veterans and community members were present for the flag raising dedication, which included bugle and bag pipes performances, as well as a flyover from a vintage World War II plane.

Many in attendance were emotionally moved by the powerful tribute.

"I'll tell you, I could cry," said Mark Beckfield, president of the Eau Claire Veterans Foundation. "This is so emotional, and I've already seen tears in veterans eyes. This is the stake in the ground for our veterans and to honor our veterans who really deserve it. This is for our vets of the Chippewa Valley."

The flag is part of a four-year long project to build the tribute's veterans mall, which will include 3,500 legacy stones embedded with stories from area veterans, and a timeline along the Eau Claire River honoring all who served in past wars.

Sarah McGrew

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