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Published on May 22, 2024
University of Phoenix Campus Adorns 10,000 Flags in Memorial Day Tribute to Honor Fallen HeroesSource: Google Street View

In a moving tribute to fallen service members, the University of Phoenix campus became a sea of red, white, and blue ahead of Memorial Day, adorning the landscape with 10,000 American flags. Volunteers, made up of university staff and local community members, came together to plant the flags in an annual event held yesterday, according to FOX 10 Phoenix. This poignant commemoration aimed to spell out the words "Courage, Legacy, Gratitude," signifying the deep respect for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

"The community votes on this, so this is really meaningful to the community," Eric Ryan, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the senior director of military operations for the university, told University of Phoenix's press release. He recounted the extensive planning that began around February to ensure the event resonates profoundly each year. It took nearly 100 volunteers to carefully arrange this display of national pride, their continuous support illustrating an undying commitment to honor the fallen.

During the ceremony, emotions stirred as the national anthem and "Taps" echoed through the campus. Special highlights of the day included a Color Guard presentation by Luke Air Force Base and moving speeches from notable figures such as Mr. Frank Lambert, a decorated war veteran and West Point graduate. Lambert, who served in Vietnam, shared his personal insights on the significance of remembering those who have fallen, a sentiment captured by the university's press release: "For me, Memorial Day is the most important holiday of the year," he stated. "I hope my story provides a link for everyone to connect with those Americans who gave their lives for all of us."

The flags standing vigil across the grounds of University of Phoenix will not only serve to remember the past but also to inspire future generations. After a week of display, they are set quickly to be collected by the nonprofit Arizona Heroes to Hometowns and distributed to local military cemeteries in time for Memorial Day. Dean of operations for the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies, John Ramirez, reflected on the event, lauding the "spirit of sacrifice and valor within our military community," as he told the University of Phoenix press release. His words underscore the university's mission to not only educate but to actively commemorate and uphold the legacy of those who have served. "Reflecting on the spirit of sacrifice and valor within our military community is a privilege," shared Ramirez. "Today, we unite in remembrance, gratitude, and respect for the courageous individuals who gave everything in service of our nation."