Field of Honor

Gold Star father Craig Gross with Gracie Tubbs of Operation Military Matters. Craig’s son, Army Cpl. Frank R. Gross, was killed in action in Afghanistan.

SEMINOLE — In November 2015, the Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole planted 24 American flags in front of Seminole City Hall for its first Field of Honor. Each flag in the patriotic display was sponsored by individuals throughout the community and honored a different veteran.

The display has grown significantly since then, and five years later, the club is preparing for its largest Field of Honor yet — 419 flags flying in front of City Hall and the adjacent Seminole Post Office.

David Green, the project’s team leader, is amazed by the Field of Honor’s growth.

“Every single year, the demand has exceeded the supply,” he said, adding, “We’re overwhelmed by the number of people who have been passionate about it and don’t want to miss it.”

The number of flags presented in the display has jumped each year. In 2019, the Field of Honor grows from 305 last year to 419. Each year, the biggest issue restricting even further growth has been lighting, Green said. There are federal protocols regarding flag display, he said, including adequate lighting.

This year, Duke Energy has stepped up to provide temporary floodlights on the Field of Honor at the post office during the month of November, allowing the Kiwanis to expand, he said.

“We’re very happy and excited by this offer,” he added.

The Kiwanis are accepting flag sponsorship applications for this year and Green expects them to sell out, as they have in years past.

“Last year, we were turning people away,” he said.

Individuals, businesses and organizations can sponsor a single or multiple 3’x 5’ American flags, which will be on display for the entire month of November, for $35 each. Flags are mounted on an 8’ steel staff and placed in precision rows. Each sponsored flag will have a military-style streamer attached printed with the name of the veteran being honored, years served, military service logo and the Kiwanis logo.

Once the flags come down Dec. 1, each flag sponsor will receive their customized streamers.

Sponsors honor friends and family members from all American wars, Green said, from the Revolutionary War to contemporary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s all represented at the Field of Honor,” he said.

To sponsor a flag, visit www.kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com. Sponsorship applications are also available at city hall and the Seminole Community Library. The cut-off date for sponsoring a flag is Oct. 21.

For additional information, contact Kiwanis Club members Vicki Sullivan at 727-744-4418 or Wayne McKenney at 813-767-4682.