For the sixth consecutive year, the Danville Rotary Club has organized its Field of Honor along Memorial Drive with an impressive number of American flags.
What started as an idea brought back from a member’s vacation in Wyoming several years ago has turned into a regular display in Danville of patriotism and thankfulness for first responders and military personnel.
Jack Morning, a past president of the Rotary Club, said 600 flags are arranged this year, which is smaller than in the past, but it’s still quite the sight to see.
“The idea is to honor our local heroes,” he said.
The Rotary Club will hold a public meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the site near the Main Street bridge, an event that will feature a brass quartet and a keynote speaker. The 45-minute ceremony will close with a rendition of “Taps” from a trumpeter, and then families can go home with the flag they sponsored in honor of a loved one.
In past years, Morning said the club has solicited donations from local businesses, both small and large, to sponsor flags for various entities, such as the Danville Life Saving Crew, police department or fire department, among others.
“Each year we’ve kind of expanded a little bit of who we try to honor,” Morning said. “This year we’ve expanded into the healthcare field, trying to pick up the fields that have really been on the front line with this whole Covid crisis that we’ve gone through.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Rotary Club elected to not search for sponsors this year, knowing full well just how hard some businesses have been hit by the drop in customers.
However, some regular donors have reached out to pledge their support anyway.
“Some folks have said, ‘I’ve been a part of this since Day One, and I don’t want to be left out this year,’ so they contributed to the project,” Morning said.
Individuals and families can also pay $40 to ensure that a flag flies in honor of a loved one who has served in the military. If they sponsor a flag in subsequent years, the cost is $10.
Morning said the money raised from this effort goes back into the Rotary Club’s other programs, like a high school scholarship fund or a pancake dinner that raises money for a local charity.
A brochure is available on the Rotary Club’s Facebook page for people still interested in adding a flag to the field in the final days before the Fourth of July ceremony.
“It’s a very patriotic scene,” Morning said, “and you can’t help but be moved and impressed by what our country has to offer.”
Parker Cotton is a sports reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin and Danville Register & Bee. You can reach him at (276) 638-8801 ext. 215. Follow @ByParkerCotton.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.