Enfield Soccer Club dedicates new flag pole

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Thu., Sep. 12, 2013
Patriotic songs played while American Legion Post #80 and Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders paid respect to the American flag. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Patriotic songs played while American Legion Post #80 and Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders paid respect to the American flag. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Thanks to the Enfield Soccer Club, Shaker Fields in Enfield now sports a new flag pole.  The dedication ceremony for the flag pole was held on Sept. 7, when the flag was presented by American Legion Post #80, along with its color guard.

The Soccer Club agreed that the flag should be dedicated to all Americans who have served in the military. “We appreciate all the things that the military personnel have done for our country, and we just want to find a way to show our admiration,” said Marc Veilleux, recreation vice president of the Soccer Club. “I took notice that many fields have American flags flying from a pole, but not usually soccer fields. We wanted to change that. We had a flag flying from the building, but it just didn’t seem right. We needed a formal pole. Now we have one and we are very appreciative.”

The American Legion presented the flag while the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders secured the area. This is a group of retired military personnel that want to be sure that no protesters interfere with any dedications, funerals or any other events that would inspire protestors to picket. The Guard members road in on their motorcycles and were prepared to do their job. Patriotic music played while the crowd paid respect to the flag.

In Veilleux’s dedication speech, he wanted to be clear that the Enfield Soccer Club was dedicating the flag pole to all citizens that are in the military now or have served previously. “It is because of your service and loyalties that we are able to do what we do on a daily basis,” said Veilleux. “You gave us the ability to play soccer and live a free life. Thank you.”

To add to the festivities, the coaches agreed to have a friendly game of coach against coach. After the dedication ceremony, Joe McBride sat on his lawn chair and watched the soccer game. “I think this is a wonderful thing,” said McBride. “I am very proud of the club. It was a great ceremony and a beautiful flag pole.”

The pole was hand-crafted by John Pitoniak of Westfield, Mass. His daughter, Deb Liquori, is a member of the Enfield Soccer Club. “My dad is a welder by trade. He is retired now, but he still works on projects from time to time,” said Liquori. “He recently made a flag pole for a disabled veteran. He had materials left over, so when I asked him if he would make the flag pole for our soccer club, he quickly said he would do it. It came out fantastic. It is a wonderful pole and I know that it is greatly appreciated.” The estimated value of the pole is $1,200, but Pitoniak did not want any money for it. He said he was pleased to donate it to the Enfield Soccer Club.

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