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Veterans memorial flagpole felled in Anchorage windstorm to be replaced by May

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The Anchorage Mayor’s office has announced its intention to fund a new veterans memorial flagpole on Anchorage’s Delaney Park Strip to replace the one destroyed in a storm in early September. In a press release sent out Sunday, the office announced plans to fund the new flagpole in conjunction with the Veterans Memorial Committee.

The windstorm that swept through Anchorage on Sept. 4, 2012, cut the power to thousands of residences, damaged houses and cars, and felled the beloved 103-foot-tall Sitka spruce flagpole. Inside the flagpole was a surprise: a time capsule from the 1960s, placed in the flagpole by a few firefighters who helped erect the pole.

The Anchorage Municipal Parks and Recreation Department removed the pole immediately after it fell, and stored the cut up logs from the pole. The city is planning to use the wood to create plaques for Alaska veterans and the Anchorage Fire Department employees that raised the original pole. The remaining pieces of the pole will be used by the Veterans Memorial Committee for fundraising in the future.

“My goal is to have a new pole up as soon as possible,” Mayor Sullivan said on Friday. “It’s a symbol of our freedom and a monument for many local veterans.”

Cargo company Horizon Lines has donated shipping of the new pole from the Lower 48 to Alaska. Once municipal money is secured from year-end funds, a galvanized steel pole, not a new wooden one, will be ordered. Installation of the new flagpole is planned to happen by May 2013 although the press release notes that the new pole could arrive as early as January.