With large American flags waving on the lawn of city hall, Newark Morning Rotary Club member Clinton Tymes stood at a podium Sunday afternoon and read off a list of 115 local heroes, including veterans, first responders and others.
Each hero was represented by one of the flags, part of the Rotary club’s Flags for Heroes program in honor of Veterans Day.
"We're here to honor very special people,” Rotary member Robin Broomall said. “They did not set out to become heroes, but by their unselfish actions, they have placed themselves in our heads and hearts."
Hundreds of Rotary clubs around the country participate in the Flags for Heroes program, including the Newark Evening Rotary Club, which has set up a flag display in front of city hall each Memorial Day for the past few years. This is the morning club's second time participating.
"We're pleased to be honoring over 100 amazing heroes and eventually hope to have flag displays in several locations in the greater Newark area on future Veterans Day weekends,” Rotary member Paul Keely said.
Dozens of club members and other local residents each paid $50 to sponsor a flag and dedicate it to a veteran or other hero. The money will go to support the club's various service projects.
Sunday’s ceremony drew a couple dozen people and, besides the reading of the names, also included a color guard from the Delaware Patriot Guard, the recitation of the pledge of allegiance by city councilman and Navy veteran Jason Lawhorn and the playing of the national anthem by saxophonist Gaetano “Vinnie” Vinciguerra.
"Your presence here is the best way to honor our collective heroes,” Rotary member Laura DelPercio told the crowd.