TROY, Mo. - On Thursday morning, police stopped traffic at a roundabout off of Highway 61 in Troy, Missouri. Not for an emergency, but for a special ceremony to replace a giant American flag that had served as a landmark for the community.
Every Thursday, around 100 veterans meet up to have coffee at the Lincoln County Council on Aging.
"We have that in common," veteran Roger Kiesey said. "You know, we did something together."
And together, they rode the bus from their meeting place to the South Lincoln Drive exit off US 61. In the center of a roundabout that sees around 17,000 cars a day, they raised a new American flag.
"It makes you feel proud and chills just go up your spine," veteran Jim Kientzy said.
"It chokes you up a little bit," veteran Angel Heredia said. "I was glad I was able to get in there and touch the flag as it was going up."
And there was plenty of flag to go around.
"It's only a 28 by 38," Kiesey said.
"I don't think it's the size of the flag," veteran Charles Marino said. "It's the heart of the people."
First responders also came to watch and protect the area.
"It's mutual support and admiration I guess," Kientzy said.
The Troy Chamber of Commerce was also there in support.
"Well the good news is, a 30-foot flag is beautiful," executive director Kerry Klump said. "The bad news is it's about $900."
But the veterans didn't care about the cost.
"Sometimes we look up and there's not a flag there so we decided we would collect money among ourselves and buy a new flag and it put up," Kiesey said.
"For a group of veterans, when they have many other needs for their money, to come together and donate the funds for the flag, it's truly appreciated," Klump said.