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Around-the-world journey of American flag will be shown at SU Veterans Day luncheon
An idea by a Syracuse University faculty member has evolved into a 13-city American flag relay around the world. The relay, which began in Syracuse in June, will end at Hendricks Chapel Thursday, Nov. 11, during SU’s inaugural Veterans Day ceremony.
The flag relay began Flag Day, June 14, when Lt. Col. Sue Hardwick, United States Army and director of military science at SU, raised the American flag in Syracuse before sending it to Afghanistan to be flown at a forward operating base. “The more I thought about it, I thought it would be neat to get more graduates involved in this event and see how many locations it could be flown,” says Hardwick. After Hardwick sent out emails to alumni and posted her idea on Facebook, “the outpouring of support from the graduates was overwhelming,” she says.
Since June, the flag has made its way to three forward operating bases in Afghanistan, as well as Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; and the Justice Department, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Aberdeen Proving Grounds and National Capital Region, all in Maryland. The flag is expected to be flown at a National Guard Armory in New York before reaching its final destination at Hendricks Chapel Nov. 11. There, it will be raised during SU’s first Veterans Day ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.
Following the ceremony and flag raising, a luncheon will be held at noon at Panasci Lounge in the Schine Student Center. The flag’s journey, and the expressions of SU ROTC alumni who participated, will be pictorialized in Panasci Lounge.
The American flag denotes a very personal meaning to military personnel. “Everytime I see a U.S. flag, I hear the national anthem,” Hardwick says, “I get choked up because I understand the sacrifices that I have made, and military members in general have made for our country. When I was deployed, I kept a small U.S. flag in my breast pocket and every day I would look at to remind me of why I was in Iraq.”
All are invited to attend the 11 a.m. ceremony at Hendricks Chapel on Nov. 11. The reception at Panasci Lounge is free, though individuals should RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 3, by calling 443-2462. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. After Veterans Day, the flag will be lowered and displayed in a case in the Veterans Lounge at University College.
The Veterans Day Ceremony is sponsored by University College. For the full day’s events, visit: http://uc.syr.edu/splash/VetDaySplash.