DENVER -- If you’ve driven on Interstate 25, Interstate 70 or C-470 the past few months, you’ve probably seen a man waving an American flag on a bridge above the traffic.
That man is Jeff McNamara.
“I try to get a couple hours a day,” he said.
On Memorial Day, McNamara was on the pedestrian bridge at I-25 and Evans Avenue. He spent two hours there after spending two hours at C-470 and Alameda Avenue, then another hour on Highway 285 near Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
McNamara has been waving the flag almost daily since November. He stops for an hour here and there on his way to and from work as a water purification plumber.
“My wife is happy because it seems to be getting rid of my gut a little bit,” he said.
While a toned upper body is an added perk, it’s not why he chooses to do it.
“I had kind of been looking for something to do that would be a good thing to do for just being patriotic,” he said.
He came up with the idea after the 2016 election.
“I just hated the negative stuff. And so I decided to do something neutral and just wave the flag,” he said.
McNamara said the response has been overwhelming.
“I know every horn in this town. Some of the people have the wimpiest horns you’ve ever heard in your life and some have train horns underneath their trucks. And when they let that go, the bridge shakes,” he said, “Oh, it’s great."
Aside from the hundreds of horns honking at him, he also gets visits from veterans on a daily basis. On Monday, U.S. Army veteran Jose Guerrero stopped to say "Thank you."
“I was driving from downtown going back to my friend’s house,” Guerrero said. “I said I need to come back and take a photo of this great American so I drove about two miles away to Havana Street and drove back.”
When asked why, Guerrero was overcome with emotion.
“It’s emotional because when I was in Afghanistan, I lost a lot of friends,” he said. “They were good men and women out there. Seeing a man like this waving this flag a lot, it shows a lot of support. I love it.”
McNamara has never served in the military. He is the son of U.S. Army veteran John J. McNamara, who fought in World War II and Vietnam.
“It’s a privilege,” he said. “People have died for this flag. It represents freedom to untold individuals around the world.”
McNamara said he doesn’t have plans to stop waving his flag anytime soon.