She had a major hand in bringing the Patriot Flag to Estacada in June during its 50-state tour, and now Becky Ginsbach has the opportunity to document the flag's historic national journey. But she's in need of support from the community to do so.
Ginsbach, coordinator of Estacada Area Support Our Troops Foundation, began her work with the Patriot Flag when its organizers invited her to work as its Oregon tour coordinator. After the June 3 event during which the Patriot Flag flew high over Estacada in an unbelievable day of patriotism and honor, she was asked to join the Patriot Flag project as its media liaison.
In her new volunteer post, Ginsbach's been asked to produce a video documentary of the flag's historic tour and is in need of donations to help cover the cost of her travel with the flag as it nears the end of its journey.
The Patriot Flag, which measures 30 feet by 57.5 feet and weighs 75 pounds, is on a tour of the United States to honor all the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks as well as public safety personnel and members of the nation's armed forces who protect the United States, often at great sacrifice.
The flag has toured almost all states, and Ginsbach wants to make it to Sturgis, S.D., on Aug. 7 to document its 50th state arrival. She then plans to attend the Patriot Flag day events on Sept. 11 when the 10th anniversary of the attacks are remembered.
The Patriot Flag will fly at the site of the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in Shanksville, Pa. - the three sites where planes took the lives of Americans.
'The Patriot Flag will become a very important part of American history, and it has already touched so many people in so many towns across America,' Ginsbach said. Besides helping organize the event in Estacada, Ginsbach was able to see the effects the flag had on people when she went to its Eugene event as well.
'Through those two experiences and working with other people in their events, I see what it brings to towns. It brings patriotism and it unites us. When people are touched by the Patriot Flag, their lives are changed. It plants very deep seeds of patriotism in their hearts,' she said.
Ginsbach is taking prerequisite classes at Clackamas Community College toward a degree in digital media. She is already producing a documentary on American heroes and their reflections.
'I feel it's extremely important to preserve our veterans for future generations and this ties in with the video documentary of the Patriot Flag,' she said.
'I don't think anybody has taken a flag this big and flown it in every state for 50 weeks,' Patriot Flag Coordinator Mitch Mendler said just after the flag flew in Boston over the Fourth of July weekend. 'If Becky can document it, it will certainly preserve and record this for anybody who wants to see it. For Becky to come with us, it would certainly make our job easier documenting this important journey.'
To attend the Sturgis event as well as the 10th anniversary events on Sept. 11, Ginsbach is estimating she needs between $2,500 and $3,000; she said this amount will cover all the recording materials needed. Once the documentary is created, she isn't sure how it will be disseminated to the public, but she said there are many media outlets interested her project, which may be used as some part of the national coverage.
'We are anticipating something like that,' she said.
Already, Ginsbach has held a fundraising dunk tank over the Fourth of July celebration in Estacada and is planning a raffle in the next few weeks. She is looking for any kind of donations, from money to any airline frequent flier miles, she can use to travel.
'It's a little awkward to ask for donations for myself, but I realize it's the only way I can go to preserve this piece of history in the form of a documentary,' Ginsbach said.
'We don't have a lot of money,' Mendler said. 'We scramble to pay our bills, and nobody gets a penny for what they do with this. We are trying to make all this happen on a shoestring budget.'