On Sunday, Nov. 7, George Lutz, founder of Honor and Remember Across America (HRAA), presented a flag to the Houghton family of Asheville. Two years ago, their son died in the line of duty. Lutz, who also had a son killed by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq in 2005, conceived of HRAA as a way to honor fallen soldiers from all wars.
“Right now, we honor veterans one day a year … if we honor them at all. Most people, if they don’t have a close friend or family member in the service, don’t pay attention to veterans at all,” said Lutz at the ceremony, held at the Trinity Baptist Church in West Asheville. “This flag is an effort to help every American remember to honor every veteran 365 days a year.”
Both the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners have recognized Lutz’ program, and Western North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler has co-sponsored a bill to designate the Honor and Remember Flag as an official symbol to honor members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty. It’s Lutz’ goal to have a flag fly above every government building in the country right along side the American flag and POW-MIA flag. Veterans Day is this Thursday, Nov. 11.
Here’s a look at the symbolic meaning of the flag’s design:
• The Blue Star represents active service in military conflict. This symbol originated with World War I, but on this flag it signifies service through all generations from the American Revolution to the present day.
• The White Border surrounding the gold star recognizes the purity of sacrifice. It’s meant to represent the idea that there’s no greater price an American can pay than to give his or her life in service to our country.
• The Gold Star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given.
• The Flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.
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