New patriotic mural completed at American Legion in Medina
MEDINA – The Butts-Clark American Legion Post in Medina will certainly catch the eye of drivers coming down Main Street with completion of a giant flag mural on the south end of the building.
The idea for project was born several years ago when Legion Commander Glenn Whitmore noticed a similar painting on the Post Office in Gasport.
“I thought it was beautiful and came back here and told Steve Johnson, our former commander about it,” Whitmore said. “I thought it would be awesome to have a flag on our post. We had just had the building painted and it looked wonderful. And we had this big blank wall and I knew then I was going to do whatever it took to get that done.”
Then the Covid pandemic hit and Steve moved away.
Whitmore didn’t forget his idea, however. The restrictions eased with Covid and this spring Whitmore, Carol Callina and Dave Kusmierczak started rethinking the idea of having a giant flag painted on the south side of their building. They contacted sign painter Mark Weld of Barker and his assistant Jeff Watkins of Newfane and put together the paperwork to present to the village for approval.
In June, the village approved the project and a week ago, Weld and Watkins began work.
It took a lot of prep work and six days to draw the initial outline and then paint it, Weld said. This is one of the biggest projects he has attempted, but it’s beautiful, he said.
“A lot of people have been pulling into the parking lot and commenting on it,” Whitmore said. “It’s the best sign I’ve seen on anything in my whole life.”
Underneath the flag are the words, “For God and Country.”
Whitmore doesn’t deny his patriotism.
“This is America,” he said. “That flag means everything.”
“We fought for that flag,” said Carol Callina, a Medina native who served four years active duty in the Navy.
Whitmore also served in the Navy for six years aboard the USS Forrestel.
“When our ship pulled into port and the sailors all lined up along the rail, nothing made you more proud than to arrive back in America with flags flying, a band playing and families waiting,” Whitmore said. “I want to do as much for Medina and this post as I can.”
Whitmore said the mural is latest improvement the Legion has made to their building. They recently added a patio with tables overlooking the canal. Legion members and their guests love to sit out there, have a drink and enjoy the breeze. Smoking is allowed out there, as well.
Whitmore said it is important to thank all the members of Post 204, the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and the village for their support in helping to make the project possible.
He also encourages anyone eligible to consider joining the American Legion.