Community gathers for flag raising ceremony for Davenport Korean War veteran

The ceremony was held after the veteran’s home was remodeled
Published: Nov. 14, 2020 at 11:16 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - J.P. Whitaker has lived in the same Davenport home his entire life, aside from two instances, when he went off to college and during his service in the military.

After the house was remodeled for the 92-year-old Korean War veteran, Whitaker’s co-trustee and Iraq War veteran Jeno Berta knew the remodel needed one more thing.

“We made a promise to J.P., we said ‘When we bring you home, the last thing we’re going to do is put this flagpole here, we’re going to have old glory of course and the famed third division, Rock of the Marne flag,’" Berta said. "That’s how we got here today.”

Community members gathered for a flag raising ceremony in Whitaker’s honor Saturday, by raising both flags on a rainy and cold Saturday afternoon. The American flag that was raised was flown over the Rock Island Arsenal a few days prior.

First Army Commander Lieutenant General Thomas James said the ceremony fell at a perfect time of the year to honor veterans.

“When we have Veteran’s day and thanksgiving, that time between, just put those two together and we like to thank our veterans,” James said. “You know those that serve in the active army right now and especially our unit.”

Whitaker himself encouraged all households to have a flag on display.

“It’s great, everybody should have one," Whitaker said. "And for the houses it shows the strength of the United States.”

Berta was thrilled to see the representation at the ceremony, ranging from the legacy of J.P.'s father who served in WWI to Berta who served in Iraq in 2009.

“How wonderful was today?" Berta said. “You have J.P., Korean War Veteran, General James, third I.D., J.P.'s dad, who flew in WWI, under General Pershing, First Army, which is across the river here, only in America my friends.”

Berta also described the day as a work of art.

“We live in a world right now where there’s a lot of broken windows, today, my friends, we made some stained glass." Berta said.

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