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The Suburbanite
  • Jackson Township honors its heroes

  • Jackson Township Rotary Club members have made it a mission to recognize the men and women who serve their nation and communities. For the second year in a row, the rotary is giving community members the chance to honor their heroes – particularly veterans – by purchasing an American flag in that person’s name.

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  • Heroes – real, honest-to-goodness heroes – don’t seek recognition.
    But real heroes deserve it.
    Jackson Township Rotary Club members have made it a mission to recognize the men and women who serve their nation and communities. For the second year in a row, the rotary is giving community members the chance to honor their heroes – particularly veterans – by purchasing an American flag in that person’s name. All flags will be displayed throughout the Memorial Day weekend at the Jackson Township Safety Center
    The project, dubbed “Field of Honor, Field of Heroes” is designed to be a powerful reminder of the men and women who serve selflessly.
    “Walking the field – and we have a lot of people who walk the field in the early morning – it’s very peaceful,” Jackson Rotary President Elect Jim Ondrus said.
    Ondrus, said the inaugural event last year was more successful than they had anticipated. The rotary sold 911 total flags, each of marked with the name of a hero and the person who purchased the flag for that hero.
    The power of 911 flags waving all together is what led the rotary to partner with the Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce and its President Steve Meeks to present the project for a second year.
    “It was the way it touched people’s hearts,” Ondrus said. “People love to honor heroes. We had so many comments from people last year and we saw how it impacted them.”
    Each evening, Taps is played at the “Field of Honor, Field of Heroes” site and throughout the day a bag piper will walk among the flags playing “Amazing Grace.”
    The display is lit at night.
    Most moving to Ondrus, though, were the flags that were marked in honor of a veteran. Sometimes, the veterans for whom the flags were marked would visit the field and cry softly when they saw their name attached to the flag.
    “We had World War II Veteran honored, a man who had survived Pearl Harbor,” Ondrus said. “And we had a Vet from Vietnam who had his name one of the flags. He came to look at it and afterward he came up to us with tears in his eyes. He said, ‘this is the first time in 50 years that anyone has ever said thank you.’”
    This year, the rotary is prepared to honor 1,300 heroes.
    “Flags will run form the entrance to fire department, all the way around to the recycling center,” Ondrus said.
    What makes the project unique, though, is the fact that the entire Jackson community comes together to make the event happen.
    Recently, Jackson High School students volunteered to help prepare the flags which will be displayed starting today.
    Page 2 of 2 - Each of the flag poles had to be put together and the small golden toppers had to be attached. The flags were then attached to the poles and prepared for display.
    “They wanted to help out and they did a great job,” Ondrus said. “Those 12 students put together more than 500 flags.”
    Flags may be purchased on site at Field of Honor, Field of Heroes until no flags remain. For more information about the project visit www.jacksontownshiprotaryfoundation.com

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