Chatham honors hometown heroes with flag tribute field

Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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CHATHAM, Va. (WDBJ) - Hometown heroes are being remembered this Fourth of July in Pittsylvania County.

This is the second year the Rotary Club of Chatham has hosted a field of honor. Over 300 flags were sponsored this year in dedication to hometown heroes.

“These flags represent and have names on them from military veterans, firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, moms, dads, grandparents, teachers and coaches - anyone who is a hometown hero,” said a spokesperson for the Rotary Club of Chatham.

One of those heroes is Oscar Roach, 96-year-old World War II veteran from Renan.

“I was drafted when I was 18. I finished special training and they sent me to Wisconsin. I stayed up there for about three of four months and we packed up and went to Germany,” said Roach.

Roach went to the ceremony to remember those who fought for our country and those still fighting.

“It’s over. But it’s a lot of boys still over there,” said Roach.

Lisa Tuite, Committee Chair for Public Relations with the Rotary Club of Chatham, dedicated a flag to her father, who was an Air Force veteran.

“It was devastating for our family, but he was a proud veteran and he saved some of the people he was serving with,” said Tuite.

The donations from the flags not only support community scholarships and the Boys and Girls Club, but also provide moral support for community members.

“It’s a public display of support and a public way of showing how you honor those people who are important to you. I think it’s also beautiful. And it’s beautiful to see those flags flying especially at times like the Fourth of July,” said Tuite.

The flags are not only beautiful, but tell stories.

“You can’t always see them, but most of the flags have a tag on them. So, you can come and see who dedicated it and who they dedicated it to. That is one of the most moving parts. Not just seeing the flags flying, but to wander among them and read those tags,” said Tuite.

If you would like to sponsor a flag for a hero you know, go to chathamrotary.com/. The tribute field will be open through July 16.

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