Flags stand outside Saturday, Sept. 8,2018, outside Minnetrista in Muncie. People can donate 30 dollars to buy a yellow ribbon to put on a flag in remembrance of a veteran. Rohith Rao, DN
Minnetrista honors veterans and service personnel in 1,000 flag exhibit
At Minnetrista, 1,000 American flags cover the front lawn in remembrance of not only the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but also military personnel of every status.
“I was in disbelief that there’s actually 1,000 of them,” said Drew Bollenbacher, a visitor who stopped by the display.
Flags of Honor is an annual event hosted by Muncie Exchange Club Sept. 4 to 11 which honors “local veterans, current service personnel, and fallen heroes,” according to Minnetrista’s website.
Muncie Exchange Club is a local service organization that dates back to 1921. Their programs of service include Americanism, community service, youth programs and prevention of child abuse.
“Most people remember 9/11. They remember where they’re at when that happened,” said Bob Rector, treasurer of the organization and chairperson of the event. “This gives us a chance to honor those people who sacrificed their lives on 9/11.”
People can sponsor a flag by donating $30 to tie a yellow ribbon on a flag to honor a veteran or loved one.
Rector said that this fundraiser will raise about $20,000. He also said this year, the funds raised will benefit different organizations in the community, including Inside-Out of Muncie, the Delaware County Veterans Affairs Office and the Delaware County Prevention of Child Abuse Council.
Muncie Junior ROTC members helped set up the field and will help take it down. Ball State’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity also helped guard the flags overnight this weekend. Rector said that the police and fire departments will guard the area dedicated for their lost servicemen.
“It’s very impressive,” said retired Air Force Col. Michael Ashley, recollecting his friends and family who served in the armed forces over the years. “It’s symbolic, isn’t it?”
There will be a closing ceremony at Minnetrista, 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will include a performance by the local America’s Hometown Band, a keynote speech by retired Col. Lance Marcum and a recognition of all the veterans of Delaware County who have died over the past year.
“We want to celebrate how our country united that day,” Rector said. “We’re happy that we can hang our hat on this.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered state facilities and requested businesses and residents statewide to lower their flags to half-staff from sunrise to sunset. Also, the carillon bells at Shafer Tower tolled every 10 seconds from 9 a.m. to 9:10 a.m, in remembrance.