When the Freeport Flag Ladies began their weekly ritual of standing with Old Glory along their hometown’s Main Street 18 years ago, not everyone greeted them with smiles.
“When we first came out, there were some scowls, like we might be warmongers or something,” one of the trio, JoAnn Miller, told the Press Herald in 2002.
Soon scowls were outnumbered by honks and waves, and they began getting visits from veterans and members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
Their stated purpose from the beginning was to commemorate the horrific terrorist attacks of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, and to show support for everyone called to protect American citizens, from firefighters and police officers to members of every military branch. They expanded their activities to include seeing Maine soldiers off to their deployments, welcoming them home, attending military funerals, sending care packages to troops, and visiting schools and veterans’ homes.
Every Tuesday from 8 to 9 a.m. for the past 18 years, at least one of the three — Miller, 83, Elaine Greene, 73, and Carmen Footer, 77 — has been on Main Street. They’ve stood their ground despite snow, frigid temperatures, sickness and open heart surgery. But recently they decided the physical toll of their weekly demonstrations was too great, so their flag details will end. After doing their final Tuesday this week, they’ll stand there one last time Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of 9/11, beginning at 8 a.m. More
h/t Howie Carr show