For the first time ever, firefighters at Atlanta's airport raised a giant American flag just a few feet from the runway.
"When we first started to put it up, I called the tower because I wanted to make sure we weren't going to obstruct their view," Assistant Chief Steven Woodworth with the Atlanta Fire Division said.
Engine No. 43 hoisted the 30' by 20' flag this week in honor of our country's independence.
"We're going to put it up for holidays, we're going to put it up for military salutes and of course if we have any fallen soldiers come back, it will definitely be up for that," Woodworth said.
It's no ordinary star-spangled banner. Metro Atlanta resident Steve Kirkpatrick donated the flag to the fire department after using it to celebrate his son's homecoming from Afghanistan last year.
"I think it's a great honor and it's even greater for the city of Atlanta and the world's busiest airport to be able to host this flag. That's the great thing about it," Lt. Cecil Level with Atlanta Airport Fire Division said.
So as airplanes come and go at the airport, it's obvious that the firefighters at station number 40 aren't the only ones touched by the red, white and blue in the sky.
"Seeing stuff like that actually touches me. I get goose bumps because I'm never going to meet the man, who did this, but it will touch me and it says this is why we put ourselves through all the sacrifices of leaving our family for a year," Oswaldo Garcia with U.S. Army.
The flag will be displayed under protocol and with the utmost care for millions to see.
"We just really appreciate what Mr. Kirkpatrick did and we appreciate what his son and other veterans have done," Woodworth said.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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