Honor and Remember Across America Tour Begins
By Mindy L. Hughes, APR
June 7, 2010
George Lutz presents an Honor and Remember flag to John and Margaret Kiernan of Virginia Beach.
View photos of the ceremony
Regent University alumnus George Lutz '84 (Communication & the Arts) launched a nationwide tour on June 5 to promote the Honor and Remember Flag for U.S. military personnel killed in service to our country.
Speaking from the steps of the Christian Broadcasting Network on the Regent campus, Lutz explained to the crowd that this tour is not a political mission. "It is to remember the loss, it's about something we live with every day," said Lutz, whose son Tony was killed in 2005 by a sniper's bullet while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. Lutz developed the Honor and Remember Flag in hopes that it will one day become a universally recognized symbol that specifically acknowledges America's fallen soldiers.
Honor and Remember Across America is a 23-week tour by which Lutz is taking the Honor and Remember message to 49 states to persuade state legislatures to join the Commonwealth of Virginia and officially adopt the flag. He will give presentations at various venues, including houses of worship, veterans groups and community organizations. Lutz also hopes to meet many Gold Star families who have lost loved ones in military service.
Other speakers at Saturday's ceremony included Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia's 3rd District who reminded the audience that it was Delegate John Cosgrove (Virginia House of Delegates 78th District), and Thelma Drake (former congresswoman and now director, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation), who blazed the trail for the Honor and Remember Flag.
In a very poignant moment, Forbes told the crowd about several events he had shared with his sons in the past few weeks. "There are parents who will never be able to do these things with their sons and daughters," Forbes said. "That's what this flag is designed to do ... as a nation we will not forget their lives of service, and I promise we will pass the torch of freedom to your children and your grandchildren."
In her remarks, Drake brought greetings from Gov. Bob McDonnell '89 (Law and Government), who was unable to attend the event. Drake called Lutz a man whose heart is in the right place. "There are so many people out there who you'll never meet," Drake said, turning to Lutz. "But you have touched their lives."
Other speakers included Colonel Michael Allen, USMC, Marine Forces Command; Chaplain Mark Winward, USN, Joint Forces Staff College; and Cosgrove, who sang the National Anthem earlier in the program.
As the moving ceremony drew to a close, Lutz presented an Honor and Remember flag to John and Margaret Kiernan of Virginia Beach, Va. Their son, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Kiernan, was killed in Iraq in May 2007. Mrs. Kiernan's first husband, Army First Lt. Robert K. Dwyer, was killed in Vietnam on July 15, 1967.
After leaving Virginia this week, Lutz plans to travel from one state capital to another, heading north to Maine, then west across the upper half of the United States, reaching Sacramento by early September. Then, the tour heads south through California and east across the lower half of the country, arriving at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, November 11—a total of about 22,000 miles round-trip.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888