Showing her pride in America

Xuan Hopkins on the Blythewood Road bridge over I-77. | Ashley Ghere

BLYTHEWOOD – Anyone driving across the Blythewood Road bridge over Interstate-77 about noon, any Friday, has probably wondered who the people were standing on each side of the bridge waving large American flags.

Sometimes there are just two people, sometimes five, but there’s always someone.

The regulars are mostly Blythewood residents, including Bill and Xuan (pronounced Swan) Hopkins who organized the event last year.

Naomi Perryman waved the flag fairly regularly until recently when a family member’s ill health needed her time and attention.

But even when she’s not there, her heart is still on the bridge every Friday with her comrades.

“Mr. Hopkins got the flag waving started. He’s retired military and reaches out every way he can to show himself as a proud American,” Perryman said. “And waving the flag over the interstate is a great way to do that.”

She said the responses from the drivers down below the bridge are enormous.

“The 18-wheelers are especially responsive, honking their horns as they pass under the bridge. It’s difficult to tell where one honk ends and another begins. It’s a great feeling to witness patriotism. Americans need to feel that more,” she said.

“We’re sort of at a crossroads,” Perryman said. “Americans need to take every opportunity to stand up and be proud to be an American.”

The event is loosely organized, with flag wavers arriving on the bridge around 11:30 a.m. and leaving around 1 p.m. Its’ at a time when most anyone, even working people, can come out during the lunch hour.

Perryman said she is also active in other ways to promote America and all that is American.

“You should see the mail I get every day from the patriotic organizations I work with,” she said, laughing. “Every day, every day, the mail box is full! Once you start giving – your time, your money – it’s like they release your name to every politician across the country. I frequently correspond with Gov. McMaster’s office and I think he appreciates that.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to share my pride for America.”

Perryman says she’s looking forward to getting back to flag waiving and would love to see others show up with their flags as well.

So whether you’re driving under or over the Blythewood Road bridge on a Friday around noon, be sure to honk.

Naomi Perryman and the other flag wavers will feel your pride in the flags they’re waving.

Speak Your Mind