Almost four years ago, Village of Pinehurst Public Services Director Walt Morgan had a patriotic idea. Morgan, a veteran himself, envisioned lining Village streets with American flags to acknowledge various holidays and honor those who served.
Calling his project “A Village of Honor”, Morgan approached the Village Council for approval of his idea. “Where will you get the money for the flags?” they asked. He had already received $2,500 in contributions from various businesses and individuals who were on board with the idea.
Once Council approved the project, many other residents sponsored a flag in honor of their loved one. Soon Village streets were lined with American flags for Memorial Day, Independence Day, September 11, and Veterans Day.
Loblolly Garden Club members install flags at Marshall Park. Shown left to right: Vicki Binney, Victoria Adkins, Judie Wiggins, Pat Tomasetti, Estelle Menke, Vicky Byrd and Barb Summers.
Along the way, the Loblolly Garden Club approached Morgan with a request to assist Village staff in putting out the flags for each holiday – one of their “Labor of Love” projects. He and his staff happily agreed.
Now, a few days before each holiday, available members of the Loblolly Garden Club gather to install American flags in five different areas of Pinehurst. After the holiday is over, they gather again to help take all the flags down and load them for storage.
On December 28, 2018, Walt Morgan will retire from the Village of Pinehurst with 20 years of dedicated service. His quiet ways, unassuming humor, humility, and Village stories will be missed by Loblolly Garden Club members and, quite obviously, by Village staff.
After his last flag installation on Veterans Day, Walt treats some members to coffee. Shown left to right: Estelle Menke, Walt, Judie Wiggins, Valerie Mountcastle, Barbara Hayworth and Patti Molloy.
Morgan says he’s excited about relaxing in January. After that, he has plans to visit his son in Franklin, Tennessee, and take many trips to his Holden Beach house. Is Morgan’s wife ready for his retirement? Probably not. But he might be a big help with their spring garden work.
Morgan has certainly earned the respect of his staff and Village residents during his 20 years of dedication to the Village of Pinehurst. The entire Village thanks him for bringing his patriotic dream to life. Every time the public see the flags lining Village streets, everyone will think of our Veterans and Walt Morgan.
Feature photo: Flags flying at the intersection of Hwy. 211 and Hwy. 5 in June. All photos contributed.
Written by Sandhills Sentinel contributor, Judie Wiggins, past President of Loblolly Garden Club.