Throughout the week of Veterans Day (11/9 to 11/17), the Rotary Club of Georgetown held its 3rd annual “Field of Honor®: a Tribute to Service Above Self,” at San Gabriel Park.
Over 1,500 full-size US flags majestically stood in perfect columns and rows in honor of veterans and first responders. Flags on the field were purchased by individuals in honor of their heroes. A special section of flags was dedicated to 4-legged K9 heroes as well.
The Club’s mission of the Field of Honor is to honor and benefit veterans and first responders, to inspire patriotism, to educate youth, and to unite communities.
Twenty-two veteran and first responder organizations – including 3 Rotary Clubs – participated in promoting flag sales as “Affiliates,” benefitting from the revenue sharing aspect of their collaboration. Five non-profit organizations that focus on suicide prevention, PTSD, and family support, will be the beneficiaries of the funds raised from flag sales: The Austin Dog Alliance, Heroes Night Out, the 100 Club, Mustang Heritage Foundation, and the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel. Other funds raised from sponsorships will support Club projects.
The events drew thousands from Central Texas communities throughout the week in spite of freezing weather on some days. Families, organizations, dignitaries – military and elected officials - media, and many veterans, military, and first responders attended events throughout the week. The field was open 24/7 with volunteers serving from Rotary, American Heritage Girls, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), VFW, American Legion, Georgetown PD and FD, and many others, demonstrating Service Above Self.
Events included:
  • A 5K Honor Walk hosted by event partner, Sertoma, on November 9th;  
  • Opening Ceremonies on 11/10 that included a Parade of Colors with 15 organizations carrying their respective flags, a moving talk by two-star General Patrick Hamilton from the 36th Infantry Division at Camp Mabry, a resource expo, and static displays – including four Army tanks and several military vehicles, and multiple 1st responder vehicles – displays of real canons, muskets, and other memorabilia;
  • A moving Veterans Day tribute to WWII and Korean War veterans was held, hosting about 100 people attended despite plummeting temperatures and freezing rain. Each received Quilts of Valor;
  • School Field Trips by 1,000 8th graders throughout the week, to learn about our flag history, enjoy the “Traveling Trunks” from the Williamson Museum, and interact with panels of veterans. Each received a Pocket Constitution provided by State Representative Terry Wilson;
  • On Friday the 15th, a Rotary Multi-Club meeting was held to honor veteran and first responder guests, attended by our District Governor and several clubs;
  • The Patriots Ball culminated the week’s events on Saturday, 11/16 with the with a Boots and Bling theme. Over 400 tickets were sold to this event and the first annual Rotary Club of Georgetown Patriot Award was given to Wes and Judy Pierce from Heroes Night Out before attendees kicked up their heels to the sounds of the Porch Turtles;
  • On Sunday the 17th, people picked up the flags they purchased to be able to re-post them next year.
The Field of Honor® in Georgetown is a licensed event covering Central Texas. It is both a fundraiser to benefit veterans and first responders from flag sales, and a service to the community, reaching not just Georgetown residents, but all in Central Texas, and well beyond. The event also draws attention to Rotary, inspiring interest in club membership each year. Ultimately, this event helps fulfill the very definition of the 4-Way Test, the Rotary motto of Service Above Self, the Mission, and the Object of Rotary.