The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. At that moment in 1918, the major conflict of World War I ended. Armistice was signed, and the Allies celebrated. A holiday, to be recognized by the associated countries, came to be known as Armistice Day. In 1954, the United States of America adopted a new name at the urging of major veteran organizations.
Thus, Veterans Day began.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and a local organization in the Bryan/College Station area plans to honor those who have served this country since.
The Bryan Rotary Club will hold its seventh annual Field of Valor at Veterans Park. The project, which consists of 1000 American flags displayed across the park, serves the community, honors those who serve selflessly and educates students on the importance of the holiday.
Each of the 1000 flags represents a story of our nation’s active military, veterans and first responders. Some flags will be tagged in honor or memory of someone’s service to their county and community.
Bunny Pratt, event chair for the Field of Valor, feels the flags remind us of what’s important about Veterans Day. “We hope people will be drawn to Veterans Park to see this amazing and awe-inspiring display of American flags and tour the Field of Valor and memorials and reflect on those honored here,” Pratt says.
Flag sponsorships have been available for purchase leading up to the event. The funds raised will go toward serving the community and educating students through scholarship and teacher mini-grants.
Putting out that many flags takes a while and is definitely a labor of love, but it’s nothing compared to what those being honored are doing and have done. “It’s the stories from our flag sponsors that keep us motivated to plan and prepare the display each year,” Pratt says. “Such sacrifices of time, of family, and especially of lives deserve our recognition.”
In addition to the week-long patriotic display, a fifth grade field trip will occur over the week, allowing for students across the area to learn more about our nation’s involvement in international affairs. Tour stations include content on the Civil War, Texas Independence, World War I and II, and a September 11 memorial.
Holding this event is a great way for the Bryan Rotary Club to show appreciation for the sacrifice made by veterans and the ongoing sacrifice our active military continues to make. Veterans Park is the perfect place to hold the display, as the park serves as a memorial in honor of all veterans of the Brazos Valley who have served in all prior and active U.S. wars. The Lynn Stuart Pathway, which is included in the park, houses bronze sculptures and historic markers in respect to every recognized war the United States has taken part in.
The Bryan Rotary Club, chartered in 1921, helps create change in the community by promoting peace, supporting education and growing local economies. The group strives to make the world a better place through action and problem solving. Members are known for creating opportunities for growth and building communities up from within.
The Field of Valor will be open to the public starting on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, until Nov. 18.
For more information on the Bryan Rotary Club, the Field of Valor display and other projects to help improve the community, visit www.bryan-rotary.org.