NEWS RELEASE – May 17, 2010
Honor and Remember Founder Will Visit 50 State Capitals in Five Months
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Honor and Remember, Inc., an organization founded on Memorial Day 2008 to promote a new national symbol honoring all those who died in military service to America, will visit 50 state capitals on a mission to gain national awareness for the Honor and Remember Flag and to present families of the fallen in each state with personalized flags.
“Honor and Remember Across America” will take founder George Lutz from Virginia Beach, Virginia, in a special RV on a circuitous route across the country to promote the passage of U.S. House of Representatives bill HR 1034, which authorizes the Honor and Remember Flag to be made a national symbol. Stopping at each state capital, Lutz will meet with local, state and federal political leaders seeking their endorsement for both state and federal recognition of the flag. At each stop he will also spend time with families who have lost a loved one in military service and as funds allow present many with a flag emblazoned with the name, date of death and place of death of their family member.
“America needs a tangible symbol that specifically honors the sacrifice of men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives for their country,” said Lutz. “The Honor and Remember Flag was created to fly at federal, state and municipal buildings, schools, businesses and homes as a continuous reminder of the price our nation has paid over two centuries for the freedoms we cherish as Americans.”
On Saturday, June 5th there will be a short ceremony initiating the campaign. Two days later, the Honor and Remember RV will set out on the first leg of a 23-week journey by heading north to Dover, Delaware, where the bodies of fallen military service members enter the country. Then after a stop at the United States Navel Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the campaign will travel through the remaining Mid-Atlantic states and New England prior to heading west.
The “Honor and Remember Across America” itinerary includes a stop in Los Angeles on September 11, where a special rally will be held, featuring various celebrities including television and radio personality Dennis Miller and actress Bo Derek. The journey will culminate on Veterans Day, November 11, at Arlington National Cemetery for a final ceremony.
During his journey, Lutz will spend time sharing the vision of the Honor and the Remember Flag with Americans everywhere. His desire is to encourage them to support the effort to have the flag adopted as a national symbol by writing to their elected officials and encouraging them to support the flag initiative.
“This is a grassroots campaign to establish a new emblem with which every American can say, ‘I am grateful for and I will never forget what so many families have lost to preserve our nation,'” said Lutz. “Where the Honor and Remember Flag flies beneath the American flag, it reminds us all that freedom is never free.”
On December 29, 2005, George Anthony Lutz II (Tony) was killed by a sniper’s bullet while he was on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. His family and friends endured the shock, emotional agony and overwhelming loss that accompanied the news of Tony’s death, just like the many families who have suffered the same tragedy. In the months that followed Tony’s funeral, his father, George, visited other families who had lost loved ones in the Iraq war. He began to sense that he had joined the ranks of a unique fellowship. These families were only the latest additions to a group that originated with the American Revolution, when the first soldiers to shed their blood for our freedom gave their lives.
George found another commonality among the families of fallen soldiers. After their grief had transitioned to numbness and finally to acceptance, many families wanted to know two things: their sacrifice was not in vain and the nation would never forget. These concerns led George on a quest to discover if there was a universally recognized symbol that specifically acknowledges the American service men and women who never made it home. To his surprise, he found nothing. Thus the Honor and Remember Flag was conceived. Honor and Remember, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
During the last two years, personalized Honor and Remember Flags have been presented to nearly two hundred families. Each personalized flag contains the name, date of death and place of death of the service member. The flags are presented to the mother of the fallen service member or another designated family member.Along with many private presentations, Lutz was honored to present flags to family members of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, who gathered for a special ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk on October 12, 2008. On July 4, 2009, Lutz presented personalized Honor and Remember Flags to the family members of the marines killed in the Battle for Fallujah in 2004, who gathered for a special remembrance ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.Understandably, each individual presentation is an emotional and meaningful moment. In addition to the families of service members who have fallen in recent conflicts, Lutz has presented flags to family members of loved ones killed in World War II and Vietnam.
The Honor and Remember Flag has been endorsed by the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., The Gold Star Wives of America, The Blue Star Mothers, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the Associations of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, among many other organizations. The flag has already been adopted as an official state symbol of remembrance by Virginia and Oklahoma; legislation to adopt the flag has been written in nine other states.