A new display recent unveiled in Tyrone will provide a needed service for the community and honor military veterans for years to come.
It came to be after Tyrone officials were approached by Marco Pagsisihan, a rising sophomore at Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg, who was planning a service project to obtain Eagle Scout rank. His idea was to install a flag retirement box and bench in Veterans Memorial Park, and he got the necessary approval from the Town Council.
“The community benefits from the project in that the new addition to the park will now provide a place where citizens can deposit old and tattered American flags that can be retired with proper flag retirement ceremony as well as provide additional seating in the park,” stated Andy Pagsisihan, Marco’s father.
Marco took charge and organized the development of the project while raising the needed funds. All of this happened throughout the recent school year amid his typical academic and extracurricular activities which made for a busy schedule. The work included resurfacing and painting an old metal mailbox, restoring and reassembling an old park bench, and excavating soil and pouring gravel and concrete for the foundation where the park bench and flag depository would be placed.
The Knights of Columbus stepped up and got involved, planning a town flag retirement ceremony for June 9 at which time the new display would be unveiled. The KOC helped with funding for the project, and materials were provided by Complete Hardware in Tyrone as well as Home Depot. Kroger and Chick-fil-A provided refreshments, and volunteers came from local Scout troops. Marco pitched in some of his own money from working part-time as a soccer referee.
The scheduled unveiling combined with a busy May schedule meant that the actual physical work would have to be started and completed over Memorial Day weekend. But Marco was able to find some volunteers who put their summer break plans on hold for a few days and spent time instead on a community service project. It seemed appropriate time to do most of the work on the project at a time set aside to honor fallen veterans nationwide, as Any Pagsisihan pointed out.
“We were very pleased that he came in. It was a very patriotic gesture to make an effort to find the appropriate way to dispose of used flags,” said Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. “We appreciate the hard work that he did and also the hard work of our public works employees, who sometimes came in on weekends and worked on this. We’re just excited about this addition to Veterans Park.”
Now that this project is complete, Marco awaits the Eagle Scout Board of Review. He is a life scout with Troop 279 which is based at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City. He is a high honor student and received an academic excellence award at TCS at the end of his freshman year, having also been a member this year of the football, soccer and swim teams.
He holds R8 USA Soccer Referee Certification and works part-time during the season refereeing soccer games. He is also a Cadet Petty Officer third-class rank in NARS B1 Squadron – U.S. Naval Sea Cadets and serves as one of the unit’s Cadet Lead Petty Officers. He wants to be a doctor and has expressed interest and hope in attending one of the US Service Academies or earning a full college scholarship. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2017 Summer STEM Camp.
When he has free time, he enjoys playing with his brother Niko and dog Lilly and going on vacation to the beach and fishing.