IF YOU VISIT the Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma Club website, you will read this:
Sertoma stands for the high and noble service to mankind through communication of thoughts, ideas and concepts to accelerate human progress in health, education, freedom and democracy.
Then, if you visit Fargo’s largest park, Lindenwood Park, around the Fourth of July or on Labor Day, September 11, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day or Flag Day, you’ll see evidence of that mission. Some 75 American flags line Roger Maris Drive as part of the Sertoma Flag Service project.
I saw the impressive display of flags when I was in Lindenwood on June 14, Flag Day.
There I chatted briefly with Sertoman Bruce Hanson as he carried carefully rolled flags from the park grounds and placed them into a Sertoma trailer. The project, he says, has been ongoing in the city for a long time (since 1973, according to the website) and was moved to Lindenwood several years ago. Prior to that, the flags were scattered at businesses throughout Fargo and West Fargo. Grouping all the flags in one place makes more of an impact.
Businesses are still involved, Hanson says, via flag placement sponsorships. Proceeds from the flag project go back to the community.
I didn’t ask Hanson about the other Sertoma project I noticed in the park, the Sertoma Freedom Bridge, a foot-bridge which links Lindenwood Park on the North Dakota side of the Red River with Gooseberry Mound Park on the Moorhead side.
The bridge closes July 9 for reconstruction and reopens October 1. I did a brief online search and learned that this bridge has been battered more than a few times by the raging floodwaters of the Red River. That was difficult to imagine given the docile nature of the narrow and muddy Red on the June evening I visited Lindenwood Park.
But I was assured by a man and his granddaughter that the river most assuredly spills from its banks and floods the lower park areas.
I’d really like to know more about the history of this pedestrian and bike bridge. When was it built? And why is it pegged “Freedom Bridge?”
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling