Terry Cloth Tribute: How the beach honors America

- For the thirteenth year, the TradeWinds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach created its Independence Day Terry Cloth Tribute with 975 red, white, and blue beach towels on the beach.

The colored towels create a giant, 13-star flag mosaic of the original Betsy Ross flag along the beach front, behind the resort.  

For the thousands who visit Bay Area beaches for the Fourth of July holiday, it's a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate. 

The Terry Cloth Tribute was the brainchild of retired TradeWinds employee Bob McManaway, the former director of plant operations and veteran of the Armed Forces. TradeWinds says McManaway envisioned dying some of the hotel's beach towels red and blue to create the memorable display.

Guests helped place the towels to form a mosaic of the original flag, while 13 of TradeWinds' younger guests posed as the stars on the flag, representing the original 13 colonies.

TradeWinds guests wrote messages to military veterans by signing a giant banner, which is displayed on the beach adjacent to the flag and later will be given to Honor Flight as part of its send-off for veterans to see memorials in Washington D.C.

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