Rotarian and chair of the annual Field of Honor, as well as a retired higher education administrator and adjunct professor, Jeanne Cox recently asked a group of high schoolers what they knew about 9/11. “Out of the whole group of 15 or so, one said, ‘Isn’t that the number you call for emergencies?’ Another said, ‘No dude, that’s the thing where a couple of planes ran into the buildings.’ That was the extent of their knowledge of what happened and how it changed our world.”
After learning about the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 “Never Forget” Mobile Exhibit, she knew it would not only be a way to follow last year’s Vietnam Wall exhibit displayed during Field of Honor; it would also educate today’s youth about the sacrifices made by our veterans and first responders. The Rotary Club of Georgetown’s Board agreed. Her excitement was initially dampened by the $25,000 cost, plus housing for the driver and four FDNY firefighters who served during 9/11, that it would take to bring Tunnel to Towers exhibit to Georgetown. “I need a miracle,” she thought. When a fellow Rotarian told her about the W.D. Kelley Foundation, which funds education and health programs, she appealed to the organization for a grant. “The miracle stepped forth.”
Not only did the W.D. Kelley Foundation give the Rotary Club the full amount; the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center stepped up to provide free rooms for the exhibit’s driver and firefighters the entire week of their stay. On November 5, the 1,100-square-foot exhibit on wheels and its team will be escorted by Georgetown police and fire and the Patriot Guard Riders down University and Austin avenues to a San Gabriel Park full of people waiting to welcome the exhibit and kick off the sixth annual Field of Honor. “It’s our generation’s Pearl Harbor. We cannot forget what happened that day and the lives that were sacrificed and the people who tried to save them. Field of Honor is all about honoring our veterans and first responders, all of whom participated in 9/11,” Jeanne says.
The Field of Honor, hosted by the Rotary Club of Georgetown and sponsored by SportClips, will display up to 1,600 full size U.S. flags November 5-12 in honor of veterans, active or reserve duty military, first responders, K9 units, and equestrian heroes, past and present. Proceeds from flag sales will be awarded to ROCK, O.P. Veteran, and Blue Star Mothers as the 2022 selected beneficiaries, all of which are dedicated to helping veterans and first responders through suicide prevention and PTSD and family support.