South Kingstown man thanks first responders by crafting wooden flags

South County

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Honoring America’s heroes and the thousands of lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks holds an extra special meaning for South Kingstown resident Jeffrey Kosiorek.

“My family members were those who left their post here, or in Chicopee, Mass. where I grew up and went to New York to assist in the days following 9/11,” he said.

Kosiorek said he was searching for a creative way to say “thank you” to first responders when he saw his wife had received a wooden flag she found on Pinterest.

He said the decoration sparked his idea to make dozens of wooden flags for those who serve their communities.

Creating the wooden flags is a family affair, Kosiorek said, with his two sons lending a helping hand.

“They understand the meaning behind it for me as well, so getting them incorporated was very important for me,” he said. “So I basically cut the wood, my oldest son will sand all the boards down and my youngest son is actually the one who’s been torching the boards for me.”

Each flag has a special stripe which represents a message of hope. He hopes the flags also pass along a lesson that he learned from his own family.

“It’s an incredible part of my background and I want to support them because they’ve supported me my whole life,” he said.

Kosiorek said he’s built and delivered more than 20 flags so far. His goal is to build one for every fire and police department in the state of Rhode Island.

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