Note: Col. J. C. Dominick, USAF (Ret.) is a member of The Citadel Board of Visitors and The Citadel Class of 1971.
As seen in The Daniel Island News, by Elizabeth Bush
Photo credit: Peter Finger
The broad stripes and bright stars of the visually stirring Field of Honor, a project of the Daniel Island Exchange Club, will be returning on June 29 – just in time for the island’s Independence Day festivities.
Now in its fourth year, the annual star-spangled initiative has grown from 250 American flags when it began in 2016 to this year’s planned 675 flags. The display, set up in the grassy median on River Landing Drive, is a gift to the community made possible through donations, sponsorships and the efforts of many volunteers, according to Daniel Island Exchange Club member and Field of Honor chair JC Dominick.
“Our goal ultimately is to fill all of the green space that’s along River Landing Drive,” said Dominick. “We want people to be able to start on one end and walk all the way down and just be surrounded by Old Glory…It’s a very inspirational event.”
In addition to River Landing Drive, there will also be a flag display at Smythe Park, where the Daniel Island Property Owners Association is hosting a Fourth of July gathering and fireworks event. More than 50 volunteers will work to get the flags installed by the end of the month.
“It’s a big deal,” added Dominick, who said that the Citadel Exchange Club will be providing assistance. “We have a lot of folks that turn out to help us. It’s really very, very heartwarming to see everybody come out and just wander around through the field and just enjoy that environment.”
The full-size flags fly on 7.5-foot flagpoles to honor military, veterans, first responders, teachers and any other hometown heroes. Flag sponsorships are $25 each and can be obtained by visiting the project’s website at www.healingfield.org/danielisland19. This year, Dominick hopes to be able to put a name on each and every flag. They already have flags set aside for all teachers, administrators and staff at Daniel Island School and Bishop England; all island firefighters and police officers; and each of the “Charleston 9” firefighters who lost their lives in the Sofa Super Store fire in 2007.
Beneficiaries of the program include One80 Place, an initiative that seeks to prevent homelessness one person at a time; Lowcountry Food Bank; Fisher House of Charleston, which provides temporary accommodations to veterans and their families while the veteran is receiving medical attention; and Palmetto Warrior Connection, a program that helps retiring members of the military connect with educational opportunities, benefits, housing and employment services.
The flags will be flown from June 29 through July 13.
At a time when much of the country seems divided on a number of issues, Dominick hopes the Field of Honor can serve as way to unite people and remind them of what their country stands for.
“It allows us to focus on Old Glory, to focus on the symbol of our nation and to focus on the good that people possess inside,” said Dominick. “…Our focus is on our island and helping our island be a better place to live, with the hope that that will bubble up to our city, to our state and to our nation. And we think that it will.”
Event sponsors for the Field of Honor include the Daniel Island Community Fund; Citadel Club of Charleston; The Citadel Center for Performance, Readiness, Resiliency and Recovery; Wells Fargo Advisors; and Daniel Island Real Estate.
The Field of Honor will also include a Blood Drive on site on July 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767.
WANT TO SPONSOR A FLAG?
Visit www.healingfield.org/danielisland19. The full-size flags fly on 7.5-foot flagpoles to honor military, veterans, first responders, teachers and any other hometown heroes. Flag sponsorships are $25 each.