During a fitting ceremony on America’s somber 9/11 ninth anniversary the Border Patrol Auxiliary raised Old Glory in the Red Rocks area of the border located in East San Diego in a manner befitting Iwo Jima.
Co-founder of the organization, Carl Braun, said this was five years in the making.
“We are happy for the 100-plus folks who turned out to watch us place the American flag along a known illegal crossing corridor. We had folks from Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland as well as Nevada and Arizona make the drive to watch the flag raise high above the border,” he said.
Braun, who works closely with Border Patrol, wanted everybody to know that his group has worked along the U.S./Mexican border for five years without any incidents. “Our group is filled with true patriots.”
Former member and current Arizona resident, Mike Schmid said; “I had to be here for history. It was worth the seven-and-a-half hour drive to see the flag raised along the U.S./Mexico border.”
Area resident who manages the property as well as 800 acres along the border, Ron Hoebeck, said he helped with the permission process to have the flag placed in the rocks above the U.S. border.
“We called the FAA is see if there were any lights required for the 38-foot flag pole and they said no, so we were able move forward with a five-year dream,” Hoebeck explained.
The end of the ceremony was marked with the “Pledge of Allegiance” and Old Glory rising high above the border.
Four Sheriff Deputies as well as two Sheriff Investigators were in attendance. The deputies said they were posted to watch for any counter protesters- none showed up. To get to the Red Rocks, Boundary Peak area along the U.S./Mexico border required a 3-4 mile drive down a rutted and dusty road.
“This organization has a very good track record and I was glad to make the trip to border. I’m surprised more media didn’t come out this was a great photo op (operation),” one of the deputies said.
Currently the San Diego Sheriff department has 15 deputies working with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special task force called “Operation Stonegarden.” The deputies are tasked with managing border issues that arise throughout San Diego County.
According to the San Diego Sheriff Department website Operation Stonegarden Grant focuses on crime prevention, diction and suppression in areas impacted along the Mexico/U.S. border. It also provides additional resources to local law enforcement to effectively prevent border-related crimes.
“In the first twelve weeks of the grant, over 2,112 traffic stops were conducted, 843 citations were written, 73 arrests were made, 16 seizures of contraband, mostly illegal drugs, occurred and nearly $50,000 were seized,” the Sheriff’s Department reports.
BPAUX contends it’s their effort and working relationship with Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies that has led to a more secure east county border. Braun says there is still much work to be done if America wants to truly secure the borders, but today is a good start and Old Glory will now keep watch.
For more pictures scroll down to the slideshow.