Flags For Our Heroes Event Memorial Day Weekend at Bohrer Park
This patriotic celebration will start with an Opening Ceremony on Saturday, May 29, at 11 a.m. Due to COVID-19, the live audience will be small, and the ceremony will be streamed on the internet.
The display of flags is organized by the Rotary Clubs of Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, and Historic Emory Grove, and is supported by the City of Gaithersburg. It will be in place through noon on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31. According to Emmyrich Vicente, President of the Rotary Club of Gaithersburg, “Walking through the flags is a moving experience that has brought some veterans and their family members to tears.” On the other hand, the Field of Honor is joyous and uplifting. Some people want to touch each of the 750 flags.
Members of the Rotary Clubs will be on hand all weekend, as will members of a local Scout troop. Besides guarding the field at night, the Scouts will hold a flag retirement ceremony to dispose of tattered flags. This will take place on May 29, at 4 p.m. Members of the public may bring flags to be disposed of properly.
Because the American flag should not fly in the dark, the field will be lighted at night. It will be a beautiful sight for anyone driving up or down Route 355.
Proceeds benefit local initiatives supported by the Rotary Clubs, including the City of Gaithersburg’s Wells/Robertson House program for homeless men & women in recovery and the W. Edward Bohrer Jr. Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship Fund.
A display of full-size American flags on Memorial Day weekend was organized by the Rotary Club of Easton, Maryland in 2013. The Rotary Club of Montgomery Village followed in 2014 and invited the Gaithersburg club to participate in 2015. Later, the Rotary Club of Historic Emory Grove also joined in. This is now an annual event, visited by people from all walks of life, including recent immigrants to the United States. It was virtual in 2020, but will be a live again this year.
Rotary, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1905, is an organization of some 35,000 clubs in nearly every country in the world. It is non-political and non-religious, and membership is open to both men and women. It has a major philanthropic foundation that helps local clubs to fund activities that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, grow local economies, and protect the environment.
Rotary Clubs throughout the Washington, D.C. area organize activities that benefit their local communities. For example, they donate dictionaries to third grade students and provide funding to Gallaudet University, benefitting students with no or very limited hearing. Most Rotary Clubs support groups in high schools, called “Interact Clubs,” and some have founded groups in universities called “Rotoract Clubs.” A new initiative, Youth & Peace in Action, will involve young people in activities designed to build peace in their communities and the world.
Rotary International is one of the “big three,” with the U.S. Government and the United Nations, that work together to eradicate polio worldwide. It has international studies programs, such as Ambassadorial Scholarships and Peace Fellowships, and has established “peace universities” in the U.S. and other countries. Adults of all ages may be members.