Just days after Flag Day, Grove City again will play host to a display of banners to honor Ohioans who have given their lives serving in the global war on terrorism.
The Ohio Flags of Honor traveling memorial will set up for the seventh time Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18, at the corner of Park Street and Arbutus Avenue in the Town Center.
The display features 294 flags, each representing an Ohio soldier killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We have many more flags from organizations that are tributes to our fallen heroes," said Daniel Lambert, vice president of the Ohio Flags of Honor Foundation board of directors.
"In all, there are more than 750 flags on display, including the flags of tribute donated by organizations, individuals and companies," Lambert said.
"The flags honor the soldiers killed in combat," he said. "But each of these soldiers left family members and children who have sacrificed, and our memorial honors them as well."
"It's important that we never forget the ultimate price these soldiers have paid to keep us free," Grove City Mayor Ike Stage said.
"It's a humbling display, because it makes the tragedy real. We've lost five of our own in the war on terror, so this community has paid its price, too," he said.
The flags can be viewed around the clock from 3 p.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Sunday.
Volunteers are needed to help with posting flags around 9 a.m. Friday and loading them for transport after the event ends at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Anyone interested in volunteering should meet at the Flags of Honor site at those times.
The public is invited to the flag presentation ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, featuring the combined honor guard of the Grove City Division of Police and Jackson Township Fire Department, followed by a concert featuring the Ladies of Liberty and Cyndi Black Big Band.
Boy Scout Troop 136 will set up camp and watch over the flag display throughout the weekend. Residents can drop off their worn flags to the troop, which will properly dispose of them in a future flag retirement ceremony.
"Having the Boy Scouts set up to watch over the Flags of Honor truly makes it a special event," Stage said.
"It's a true honor for our community to be able to host the event for a seventh year," he said. "It's another reflection of Grove City's patriotic culture."
This year, the Ohio Flags of Honor display is visiting 13 communities around Ohio, Lambert said.
"We have some places that we go to every year, like Clyde and Ohio Bike Week in Sandusky," he said. "There is a mix of new and returning sites on this year's schedule.
"We appreciate Grove City and the support the community shows for the Ohio Flags of Honor memorial," Lambert said.
More information is available at ohioflagsofhonor.org.