U.S. Honor Flag in Idaho Falls to honor fallen Deputy Wyatt Maser
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IDAHO FALLS — The United States Honor Flag is a single American flag that has traveled countless miles across the country to honor those killed in law enforcement, firefighting and the military.
It’s now been brought to Idaho Falls to honor Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputy Wyatt Christopher Maser, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday.
“Their story and their sacrifice is symbolically part of what this flag means. When these guys put their badges on, put their vest on, they run to the danger without any hesitation, and sometimes the cost of that is their lives,” U.S. Honor Flag founder Chris Heisler said. “We want to memorialize that sacrifice continuously.”
The flag originates from Texas, where Heisler received it from the Texas House of Representatives shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It was given to him as a sign of gratitude for his philanthropic efforts with first responders while working in the energy industry.
A widow whose spouse died during the 911 attacks encouraged Heisler to fly the American flag in support of heroes. She wanted to make sure he helped keep the spirit of patriotism alive.
Heisler took the flag with him when he served in the military. According to the U.S. Honor Facebook page, upon seeing the flag flying among the soldiers in Iraq, a Command Sergeant Major referred to the flag as one of honor.
Since 2007, the honor flag has been present at over one thousand funerals for fallen police officers, firefighters and military.
“We are just extremely grateful,” Bonneville County detective Korey Payne said. “It’s really an honor to have (them) come. The fact that (they) would think of us and bring us this awesome treasure to use to help memorialize Wyatt’s sacrifice is huge. We all appreciate it.”
The flag has also been to four Super Bowls, 16 World Series baseball games and on NASA’s last space shuttle mission.
“No matter how many times I’ve done this, we haven’t gotten desensitized to the impact of what it means,” Heisler told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s opened doors to us. We go to schools, universities and we talk about honor, integrity and what the badge is all about. We educate students about what a hero is.”
Maser’s viewing will take place Friday from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Woods Funeral Home, 963 S. Ammon Road. It is limited to groups of 10 or less, and family and friends are preferred.
There will be a significant amount of parked cars and traffic on south Ammon Road between 1st Street and 17th Street from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The public is asked to avoid that area as much as possible.
A procession from Woods Funeral Home to Fielding Memorial Cemetery will begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. It will go south on Ammon to Sunnyside, then west on Sunnyside all the way to Yellowstone Highway, then south to Fielding Memorial.
There will also be an increase in traffic at the cemetery throughout the day and access will be limited.
Suggested areas for the community to view the procession and/or pay respects to Deputy Maser and his family are south of 17th Street to Sunnyside, Hillcrest High School/Sandcreek Commons area near Sunnyside and 25th E., Mel Erickson Park near EIRMC and Sunnyside Rd. or at the Sunnyside and Woodruff area.
Maser’s obituary can be found here.