AUSTIN (KXAN) — On this Veterans Day, people all over Central Texas were looking for ways to show their patriotic spirit. And that meant a lot of foot traffic at a local flag shop.
If you have ever wondered why someone would open a flag store, talk to a veteran.
“Because they sell the right stuff. That’s why,” said Harry Ettmueller. When fighting against the North Vietnamese, they captured and held him prisoner for 61 months. He came to the shop Tuesday for a POW flag. “I didn’t have a flag – a two sided flag – for the parade which I’ll be driving in.”
Kelly Wilson bought seven flags for her student Veterans Day at Austin Community College.
“We owe them our freedom and the least that we can do is have one day out of the year when we celebrate specifically them,” she said.
“In an atomized sense it’s the story of America,” said Harvey Kronberg who started Austin Flag and Flagpole in 1986. He’s sold flags through Desert Storm, September 11th and Enduring Freedom. “What we’re really talking about is a symbol. It’s a symbol that stirs the heart strings even for the vendors.”
Vendors like Cathy Sherman who will never forget the simple gift of a bracelet from a Vietnam Vet.
“It was like he just gave me part of himself,” said Kronberg, “like he gave me part of his heart…It gets very emotional because they’re very patriotic.”