Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New old glory

The American flag flies proudly at the geographic South Pole. After being constantly whipped by the frozen Antarctic winds over the winter, the old tattered flag is going into retirement.

This one was put up on January 1 of this year and flew the entire winter. Per tradition, it's now being replaced by a new one for the summer. Katie invited members of our crew who haved served in the US military to take part in the changing of the guard. The sun is barely visible in the background as blustery winds were blowing snow all over the place.

Todd (Air Force) and Jared (Army) started the folding of the old flag.
Chris (Marines) helped out too and it was a little challenging for them wearing heavy gloves in the -72F temps. With the windchill factor around -117F, we were all hoping for a quick ceremony.

The new flag is going on to the pole now. Andy and Sue (both Air Force) also participated. There's a Scott tent in the background that was erected a couple of weeks ago. People have been spending the night camping out in it, more for the novelty of being able to say that you did it than because it's really any fun sleeping outside in these temps.

The new flag will fly next to the pole marker and sign for the summer and a lucky winterover crew member will win the old flag in a raffle. I already won the Japanese flag that flew over the ceremonial pole so I'm happy to already have a special memento from this winter.


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Johnna said...

Heidi, I love your blog. I want to invite you to check out, a blog that helps promote homeless awareness in the US and has a direct link to helping other people who are homeless connect with folks like you--you have a positive blog and I find encouragement in your posts.



At 10:15 AM, Blogger Heidi said...


Thanks for your comment and link. When I was a PA student in Atlanta I volunteered at a downtown homeless shelter housed in a church where we set up a free medical clinic using donated supplies and drug samples. I had hoped that we made a small difference for some men who had some very sad stories.

Today with the way the economy is going, I fear that even more Americans may find themselves the victims of irresponsible policies while the gap between the rich and poor becomes wider and more join the ranks of the latter.

I've always hoped that no one takes offense at my blog name, because of course I'm "homeless" by choice. I'm very fortunate to have a place that I can call a temporary home and soon, I will indeed have my own home with my husband-to-be. I know that not all truly homeless people are as fortunate and I don't pretend to know their struggles.

But I do hope that my absentee ballot for the November election makes its way down here so that I can cast my vote for the former community organizer who will give the homeless their best chance for hope. I'm embarassed that his opponent is a senator from my home state of Arizona who scored a boondoggle trip to Antarctica a few years ago. McCain got a free trip to the South Pole but it was just another photo op for him and he was just another poorly conditioned old man the medical staff had to follow around with a tank of oxygen. If he ends up conning the country and stealing the election, I may just move down here permanently.

At 2:23 PM, OpenID Nervous51 said...


I have been reading your blog for some time now and I must say that I will miss your observations from the pole. I fully agree with you on our choice for the next leader of our country...
I have tried many times to raise the pole on 20 and 40 meters as I am a ham operator up in the Pacific Northwes area of Astoria,Oregon. Best wishes for a great life and happy married life with Michael.



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