On Memorial Day, truck driver David Ray Thornburg was parked at a Denton, Texas Travel Centers of America, when he noticed the truck stop’s flagpole was bare. Frustrated the truck stop wasn’t flying an American Flag (it is the Travel Centers of AMERICA, after all), especially on Memorial Day, Thornburg took matters into his own hands.
Video camera in hand, Thornburg went to the nearest Walmart store to get an American flag. He dubbed the mission “Operation Flagpole.”
At Thornburg’s request, Walmart managers donated a flag.
Armed with the donated flag, Thornburg headed back to TA and shimmied up the poll. He then asked a veteran working at the TA to do the honors of raising the flag.
Not long after the flag was raised, TA employees took it down.
Thornburg called it a, “slap in the face.”
It was Memorial Day,” he said. “Why couldn’t they just let it fly once it was up?
According to KHOU, truck drivers parked at the TA were enraged.
Paul Schmieder, the owner of Travel Centers of America, told KHOU that while he admired Thornburg’s patriotism, he believed Thornburg’s intent was to cause trouble.
“We just can’t have people climbing the pole,” Schmieder said. “What kind of rights do I have?”
Schmieder told KHOU that the location’s flagpole has been in place for 20 years, but 10 years ago, the company stopped flying the flag because of wear and tear on the flag and poor lighting.
Thornburg posted the video he made of the day’s event on You Tube and has received numerous comments of appreciation for his actions.
One viewer wrote, “As a war vet myself, I am very proud and thank you very much for your admirable patriotism, and you’re right, maybe you should have hung it upside down. This is a country in distress, indeed, after that.”
Another wrote, “God bless you, Thornburg. My brother was laid to rest under a flag draped coffin. Thank you, thank you so much or taking the time and effort.”
[youtube url=”http://youtu.be/cxj7HEYA4gs” width=”450″]