Church to dedicate flagpole to patriot’s memory

PORT LUDLOW — Eagles were important to Gary Hagen. As a boy, he dreamed of soaring among the clouds as an airplane pilot.

Earning the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force, he wore eagles on his uniform.

After he retired and was looking at property in Port Ludlow with his wife, an eagle flew over their heads, a sign that they had come to the right place.

They called their house Eagle’s Rest, and his office, where he displayed his collection of birds, the Eagle’s Nest.

Most importantly, when Hagen was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio, he adopted a Bible passage that includes the verse, “They will soar on wings like eagles.”

It guided his steps for the rest of his life, according to Judie Hagen, his wife of 44 years.

“It’s from Isaiah, chapter 40,” Judie said.

“It was his life verse.”

Leukemia ended life

That life ended in November when Hagen, diagnosed with acute leukemia the previous spring, died at the age of 65 at Harrison Hospital in Bremerton.

On Sunday, the community will gather at Port Ludlow Community Church to dedicate a memorial, including a flagpole topped with a gold eagle in flight, to the memory of a man who devoted his life to God and country.

“He was very Christian, very community-minded,” said Jack Hirschmann, a church member and friend.

“He was loyal and true to everything he did.”

It was receiving an American flag at the internment of her husband’s ashes at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent that gave Judie Hagen the idea of creating the memorial.

Her daughter-in-law, Seattle architect Anneke Hagen, designed the oval-shaped space with two benches flanking a flagpole.

With funds donated in Hagen’s memory, Bob Comella, a friend and church member, built the memorial at the top of the church driveway.

A boulder holds a memorial plaque inscribed with Hagen’s name, date of birth and death and his epitaph: Soldier of the Cross.

The Gary E. Hagen Memorial will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Sunday at Port Ludlow Community Church, 9534 Oak Bay Road (above the village center in Port Ludlow).

The public is invited to the ceremony, which will include a color guard from McChord Air Force Base.

The 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. church services will feature patriotic music and readings.

The choir will sing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a medley of anthems honoring those who have served in the military.

Curtiss Thomson, portraying Patrick Henry, will give the “liberty or death” speech.

Bruce Schmitz, dressed as Benjamin Franklin, will read the Declaration of Independence and Dean Nelson, as Abraham Lincoln, will give the Gettysburg Address.

More in News

Quilcene schools, Clallam Bay fire district measures passing

Voters in Jefferson and Clallam counties appear to have passed measures for… Continue reading

Tribe seeking funds for hotel

Plans still in works for downtown Port Angeles

Clallam County eyes second set of lodging tax applications

Increase more than doubles support from 2023

Olympic Medical Center reports operating losses

Hospital audit shows $28 million shortfall

Jefferson County joins opioid settlement

Deal with Johnson & Johnson to bring more than $200,000

Ballots due today for elections in Clallam, Jefferson counties

It’s Election Day for voters in Quilcene and Clallam… Continue reading

Jefferson PUD has clean audit for 2022

Jefferson County Public Utility District #1 has received a… Continue reading

Jefferson Transit opens survey on climate action plan

Jefferson Transit Authority will conduct a survey through June… Continue reading

Three volunteers sought for Clallam County Disability Board

The Clallam County Disability Board is seeking volunteers to… Continue reading

Pictured, from left, are Mary Kelso, Jane Marks, Barbara Silva and Linda Cooper.
School donation

The Port Angeles Garden Club donated $800 to the Crescent School in… Continue reading

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles, sit at the bow of a U.S. Coast Guard response boat on display during Saturday’s Healthy Kids Day at the Port Angeles YMCA. The event, hosted by all three Olympic Peninsula YMCA branches, featured children’s activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for physical activity. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain on deck

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners agreed on April 2 to seek a real estate market analysis for Lost Mountain Station 36 after multiple attempts to seek volunteers to keep the station open. They’ll consider selling it and using funds for emergency supplies in the area, and offsetting construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Fire District to seek market analysis for station

Proceeds could help build new building in Carlsborg