SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Across the country, people were celebrating Flag Day, including here in the Cape Fear. In Surf City, it was a stunning sight for the people as the American flag was raised high in the sky.
“It gets you in the heart, I can tell you that. And when you sing those songs, it just brings it all back,” Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said.
For Flag Day, the town remembered two honorees. One was Kip Young, a man who moved to the area and became a teacher a few years after helping save lives during the 9/11 terrorist attack. The other was William Tilghman, a veteran who started Flag Day celebrations in Surf City and his family carried it on.
“In those days, there were maybe four or five folks that would gather around the flag and they would pause for the allegiance and sing the national anthem and that grew from year to year. After dad passed about 13 years ago, we decided this would be a great way to remember him and carry on part of his legacy, ” William’s son Wes Tilghman said.
Young was honored as an American hero. Medlin says young left a mark on the community that could never be replaced.
“He was a hero on 9/11, but that hero carried forward too. And when he came to our area, he started working with our kids and our kids certainly looked up to him. They looked up to him as a hero,” Medlin said.
Both honorees had a bench installed with a plaque in honor of them at Southside Park. The Tilghman family says this is exactly with their father would have wanted.
“The fact that they chose to honor an American Hero. That’s new this year. And that’s something my father would be immensely proud of,” William’s son Jay Tilghman said.
This is the first year the town has honored an American hero for Flag Day. However, this will be a tradition they continue in the future.