To the Editor:
Over the last several years, you have almost certainly encountered American and military flags displayed proudly over various overpasses in Troy. These flags were one man’s contribution to share and celebrate our communities’ patriotism.
As an Army veteran, Christian Cross felt a strong desire to serve his country after 9/11. Knowing that his time in the military was long past, he had the thought that supporting our country and our military was the next best thing. He wanted to display a reminder for those in our community, the passer byes, and all who travel Interstate-75. A reminder that United we stand strong and to support those who serve.
Memorial Day, July 4th, 9/11, Veterans day, and other celebrated events was most often marked by Christian taking the time to hang the flags for us all to cherish. Always seeking to improve his methods, or increase the visibility, Christian reached out to many seeking support. All his efforts did not come with ease and acceptance either. In the beginning, he was met theft, vandalism, and push back from different groups seeking to stop his contribution. All this did not stop him, it lit a fire in him, and he fought until his fight was won.
After many years of Christian hanging the flags on his own, he started to seek help within the community, asking for volunteers, accepting donations, and proudly celebrating those who contributed. He did not want the recognition, often times passing the credit on to someone who would walk beside him. In recent years, Christian’s health started to deteriorate, leaving him to observe and manage the hanging of the flags he once hung so proudly. It was his mission to see that every person in our community was given a reminder to celebrate and have pride for the country we call home.
The future of the flags on our overpasses has been left to the hands of some of the finest and most capable people in the Troy community. I hope that next time you see the flags hanging high on the overpass, you can take a moment to remember the man who started this tradition, and give an extra salute to the Army flag. He has been called home to his father, but his memory can be found in the flags. Love you brother, you are missed dearly.
— Matthew Robinson