October 23, 2022


Field of Honor brings weeklong patriotic celebration

news photo

Kayla Pettengill, a member of Georgetown’s American Heritage Girls Troop 1045, pauses while placing name tags on flags at the Georgetown Rotary Club’s annual Field of Honor on its opening day at San Gabriel Park November 7, 2020. Sun archive photo

 

By BRIGID COOLEY 

Celebrate patriotism and remember the veterans who have served in the United States military at the sixth annual Field of Honor. Sponsored by Rotary Club of Georgetown, the week of activities takes place November 5-13. 

“It is not a week for the light of heart when it comes to activities and ways for people to engage,” Rotary Club president Cat Phelps said.  

The Field of Honor is held in San Gabriel Park, where a display of more than 1,000 American flags is arranged in formation behind the Georgetown Recreation Center. 

This year’s event begins Saturday, November 5, during which residents can bring American flags previously purchased during past Field of Honor events to include in the flag formation.  

Other Saturday events include the Sertoma Club’s Nathan Chapman Honor Walk in the morning, the Marine Corps Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony at noon and the arrival of the  Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit. 

The Field of Honor’s grand opening is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., November 6. Visitors can explore static displays, including two tanks from Fort Hood, cannons from the Sons of the Republic of Texas and tactical vehicles from Police, Fire, Sheriff, EMS and SWAT teams. 

Official opening ceremonies will begin at 1:30 p.m., with a flyover by the Falcon Flight formation flying team. Music from the 36th Infantry Band of the Texas National Guard follows, as well as a Parade of Colors and a keynote speech from Major General Ronald Win Burkett, II, commander of the 36th Infantry Division. Another flyover by the B-25 Devil Dog will act as the ceremony finale. 

9/11 mobile exhibit opens to the public

This year, the Field of Honor is welcoming the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit, which is part of nonprofit Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s national outreach aiming to educate people about the September 11, 2001, attack at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The organization also raises money to assist first responders and their families throughout the country. 

Inside the mobile exhibit, people can learn the history of 9/11, read the names of the victims and see pictures of first responders who died at Ground Zero, as well as items and artifacts retrieved from the site. Visitors also get the opportunity to speak with first responders who answered the call in New York City on September 11, 2001. 

“We are blessed that there will be four [Fire Department of the City of New York] firefighters coming with [the exhibit] who were all there 9/11 on Ground Zero,” Ms. Phelps said. “It will be open to the public and we do want everybody to come and see it. We’re very excited to welcome it to the field.” 

While its official opening is November 6, organizers are asking community members to gather and welcome the mobile exhibit, which is scheduled to arrive at San Gabriel Park at 9:30 a.m., November 5. It will travel along University Drive, turn left on Austin Avenue and be driven around the Square before arriving at the Field of Honor site at 9:30 a.m.  

“We want to ask as many people as possible to be out there,” Field of Honor chairperson Jeanne Cox said. “The police department, fire department and the Patriot Guard are leading it in. If people want to cheer them on, we’d love that.” 

Exhibit hours are anticipated to be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. throughout the weeklong celebration.  Visitors can go on self-guided tours which are free to the public. Hours may be subject to change and will be posted on the Field of Honor website, Ms. Cox said. 

In addition to the 9/11 exhibit, a Human Trafficking mobile educational trailer will also be present to provide the community with information on how to help prevent human trafficking. 

“When our club commits to a cause, we commit,” Ms. Phelps said. “We have an area of emphasis where we’ve been able to provide a community resource tool to aid nonprofits in our community that are working to educate on human trafficking. It’s something that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for folks.” 

The mobile exhibit will be open to the public throughout the week. 

Veterans Day programs

While programming is scheduled throughout the week, organizers have a special celebration planned for Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11, Ms. Cox said. 

Beginning at 11 a.m., a ceremony honoring veterans will be hosted inside the park. Attendees should arrive at 10:45 a.m.  to find a seat before the ceremonies begin. 

At exactly 11:11 a.m., a bell will ring 11 times to remember and honor veterans, followed by a flyover from the Falcon Flight team. 

The ceremony continues with music performed by the Community Band of Central Texas, a performance by the Sun City Sassy Ladies and a speech by Lt. General James Huggins. 

The day concludes with the Patriots Celebration BBQ, a ticketed event featuring entertainment, dancing, auctions, a raffle and the presentation of the Rotary Club of Georgetown Patriot Award. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $40 and available for purchase online at https://georgetownrotary.org/event/field-of-honor---patriot-celebration-bbq. 

Additional information, including a comprehensive schedule of events, is available on the Field of Honor website, https://georgetowntxfieldofhonor.org