Rock Hill Bridge gets New Name from Veteran US Flag Waver

Navy veteran US flag waver, Leonard Farrington, stood over Rock Hill bridge with his American flag every 9/11 as a sign of respect to the victims and a warning to all terrorists.

The first day following the tragic September 11th attacks in 2001, one Rock Hill man stood on a bridge over Interstate 77 and proudly waved the U.S. flag. Now 12 years later, that bridge is likely to be named after that patriotic flag-waver, Leonard Farrington.

As a Navy veteran of World War II, Farrington died in January 2012 at the age of 89. A resolution was introduced in the South Carolina Legislature last week to name the Sutton Road Rock Hill bridge after him. Senator Wes Hayes of Rock Hill believes the vote will be unanimous. Hayes presented the resolution at the same time State Representative Ralph Norman submitted the same proposal to the House. Both men agree that Leonard did a great thing.

US flag waver Leonard Farrington
Leonard Farrington proudly waves his American flag at Rock Hill Bridge

Farrington made his first appearance on the bridge on September 12th, 2001 and continued to return to show his American spirit every anniversary of the attack. He wanted to remind all terrorists that they could never destroy such a great country. He only stopped when a state police trooper told him he could potentially distract drivers and cause a crash.

This Navy veteran never looked for praise or attention; his only goal was to spread the patriotic sentiment to his community. He often asked reporters and photographers to leave him alone. He ever told one story-hungry reporter, “Get outta here. I am waving a flag, not running for office.” Several members of the Veterans’ Advocacy Group began joining Farrington over the past two years and waved their own American flags on all New York bridges over I-77.

Betty Farrington US flag waver
Betty Farrington waves her US flag in memory of her husband

Farrington’s wife is sure he would be excited about the honor of the Rock Hill bridge sporting his name. In fact, she also fully believed in her husband’s cause and waved his flag last September 11th after he passed away. “He never wanted notoriety. He just wanted to wave his flag,” Betty Farrington said. “He wanted people to remember what this country is really about.”

Credits: Aiken Standard | Counton2

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One Reply to “Rock Hill Bridge gets New Name from Veteran US Flag Waver”


    WHO: The communities of Rock Hill and Ft. Mill South Carolina

    WHAT: Dedication of “The Leonard A. Farrington 9/11 Memorial Bridge”

    WHEN: Saturday September 7th 3:00 P.M.

    WHERE: Aldersgate United Methodist Church
    2115 Celanese Road
    Rock Hill, SC 29732

    WHY: This bridge is being named in honor and memory of a man who was a true patriot. He was not an elected or public figure nor a public servant. The naming of the bridge (Sutton Road overpass – exit #83 on I-77 – Between Ft. Mill and Rock Hill South Carolina) was recently passed by an act of South Carolina legislature in both the Senate and House of Representatives, and signed by Governor Nikki Haley.

    We are honoring this legendary man, a U.S. Navy WWII Veteran, who for 10 years stood on the Sutton Road Bridge (exit 83 on I-77) each September 11th, waving the United States flag. He was occasionally accompanied by his wife Betty.

    He started immediately after the tragic terrorist attacks on The United States in 2001.

    Mr. Farrington passed away in 2011 but his legacy shall live forever with the dedication of this bridge in his honor and memory.

    *Rolling Thunder® South Carolina Chapter One has taken on the responsibility of presenting the United States flag each 9-11 on all the bridges in York County South Carolina.

    Following the dedication, the sign at the bridge will be unveiled and available for viewing. It is estimated that 100,000 vehicles pass this location daily.

    *Rolling Thunder® plans to be present with their flags on this day, and AGAIN on September 11th to commemorate the Patriotic support in remembering the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States of America. A patriotic effort and display started by one man, Mr. Leonard A. Farrington, a Veteran and True Patriot.

    Your contact person is: Harvey C. Mayhill
    2873 Forest Hills Circle
    Rock Hill, SC 29732
    803-980-2454 cell 803-554-1112


    On September 11th 2001, our nation suffered an attack on our soil from terrorists.

    This story all started shortly after the attack on our nation at the Twin Towers in New York; The Pentagon; and in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

    Immediately after those attacks, many took to the streets in shock, horror and disbelief as to what had just happened.

    Patriotic citizens of this great United States pulled their American flags out of storage and hoisted them up the flag poles on nearly every home in America. One such patriot took his flag to the public on that day, and again for days following. That person was Mr. Len Farrington of Rock Hill, SC.

    Mr. Farrington stood for hours on the Sutton Road overpass on I-77 waving his flag. He later stored that flag in a special place, and every year since, pulled it out of storage on each anniversary of 9-11-2001, made his way to the same bridge and waved the flag again for hours on end. He did this not for recognition or personal gain, he did it for his love of the United States of America.

    At an age of 89, Len just could not physically perform this patriotic duty anymore, so in 2011, he passed his flag on to Rolling Thunder® Chapter 1 of Rock Hill, SC. They took up the charge in his honor.

    In January 2012, Mr. Farrington passed away. His legacy will continue with Rolling Thunder®, but that is only one day a year. With the passing of a bill in the South Carolina House and Senate, signed by Governor Nikki Haley, his legacy will live forever. Nearly 100,000 vehicles passing daily will see the Sutton Road Bridge at exit 83 of I-77 named after Mr. Farringdon as the “PATRIOT LEONARD A. FARRINGTON 9/11 MEMORIAL BRIDGE”.

    Mr. Farrington was not a politician, public official, police officer or firefighter. He was a veteran and a common man showing his love for the United States of America. He was a true patriot his entire life.


    Mr. Len Farrington, was in a movie theater when an announcement was made indicating that the United States was at War. He immediately left and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. His family did not see him for 5 years. They knew little of where had happened to him or where he was. Serving in the United States Navy during WWII, he received the Pacific Theater Ribbon; Good Conduct Ribbon; American Theater Ribbon & the Victory Medal.

    He continued his patriotism throughout his life. Len was the man who stood above the Sutton Rd overpass waving the American Flag on 9-11 in years past. And again on Veteran’s Days and then on May 2, 2011 when Osama Bin Laden was killed.

    Originally from Pennsylvania, he settled in Rock Hill, SC where he and his wife Betty raised a family of 3 boys. He was a Manufacturing Engineer for Westinghouse and a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

    Len was loved by all from the youngest to the most senior. He always had time to visit and usually told some interesting stories about his military days. He was very religious and compassionate, except when the topic turned to terrorists, then he had no time for them and strongly voiced his opinion.

    Saturday Sept 7th Dedication at Aldersgate United Methodist Church 3:00 PM

    Attendees will be invited to drive by the Sutton Road Bridge
    I-77 exit 83 to see the sign
    “Leonard A. Farrington 9/11 Memorial Bridge”, where he stood each September 11th for ten years waving the United States flag.

    Wednesday Sept 11th *Rolling Thunder® will display 60 flags at the following
    Interstate 77 Overpass Locations from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM.

    Gold Hill Road in Ft. Mill/Tega Cay
    Hwy 160 in Ft. Mill
    Sutton Road between Ft. Mill & Rock Hill
    Eden Terrace in Rock Hill
    Anderson Road (hwy 21) in Rock Hill
    Longmeadow Road in Rock Hill

    Your contact person is: Harvey C. Mayhill
    2873 Forest Hills Circle
    Rock Hill, SC 29732
    803-980-2454 cell 803-554-1112

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