A mile-long display of American flags along Wilmington’s Riverwalk salutes service to our country, especially that of the military and the essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 500 flags, put on display by the Wilmington Rotary, stretch from Hare Pavilion by the AAA Building to the new Margaret Rose Henry Bridge across the Christina River.
The uplifting, patriotic display seemed to energize and delight people walking along it Friday at noon.
One office worker, who didn’t want to give her name, gushed about how glorious it was, how much it improved her mood and how it made her feel more positive about the world to see the flags flapping in the breeze.
“And just in time for Labor Day,” she said.
It will stay up for two weeks.
Flags line both sides of the walk near the pavilion, skip the boardwalk in front of the restaurants and Delaware Children’s Museum, and then resume single file to the bridge. (But the gap offers the usual spectacular views of the city and the river).
This is the fourth year of the Rotary display, originally meant to honor the military. It’s moved from Fletcher Brown Park near the Hercules Building, then to Constitution Yards on Justison Street where the Walk of Celebration was born, said Margi Preuitt, chair of the Flags for Heroes Committee during a dedication Friday.
When the club decided to move it to the Riverwalk, “It didn’t take long for us to realize that we had a whole new list of heroes and that they come in all shapes, genders, colors, clothes, pay scales, places of work, vehicles and ages,” Preuitt said.
They include caretakers, teachers, delivery people, health care workers, cleaners and emergency service personnel, she said.
“They may not call themselves heroes, but they are – and we learned that they are all essential,” Preuitt said. “It’s a word that covers workers that we likely took for granted before COVID – but not today.
“Today, we dedicate this display to all the essential workers — the heroes and she-roes — and publicly honor them.”