Story and photo by STEVE HARRISON
If you have driven by the empty lot on Seneca Street in Hornell that was once Loons Cleaners years ago, it is usually empty.
However, each November, that empty space gets transformed into something amazing.
For several years, the St. Ann’s Academy creates a Field of Honor. It’s a chance for folks to honor friends or family members who have served or currently serving in the branches of the military.
There are two ways to take part in the event. First, for a small donation you can sponsor a flag for your loved ones and their name will be placed on the flag. Second, is to purchase the flag for a donation. You are able to come to the field on the Sunday of Veterans Day weekend and take home the flag to proudly display all year. Don’t worry if you are unable to make it on that Sunday: you can always go to the Academy on Genesee St and pick it up.
During the weekend, it truly is amazing to walk through the rows and rows of flags and see all the names that have volunteered to defend our great country.
You can locate your flag by the map located at the Community Bank parking lot. You will wind up taking a few moments as you walk through the many rows of flag, reflect and give thanks to the brave individuals who joined the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.
If you haven’t ever been present for the ceremony, I highly encourage you to attend next year or to even watch it on Peish TV on Facebook. This year, the ceremony was lead by St Ann’s Principal Barb Berry and the pre-K to third-grade students and faculty of St. Ann’s Academy.
Guests included Father Stan and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Honorary Veterans Francis Morey, Evan Lehman, David Gates, Rachel Mullen and Donald Cinque.
The rain couldn’t stop the ceremony to kick off without a hitch. With the students reading the bio’s of each honorary you could feel the pride and gratitude from the community by those in attendance.
During the event guest were treated by several songs by the children that made the event truly a success.
The Hornell Sun thanks all that have served and currently serving in the branches of United States military. Photo gallery by Steve Harrison: