Honor and Remember Flag to Be Raised at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum Adjacent Park



Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, SpartanNash, 616-878-2830

Honor and Remember Flag to Be Raised at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum Adjacent Park on July 4 before Amway Family Fireworks

Grand Rapids, MI, July 2, 2015 — Before the downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan skyline lights up with spectacular fireworks on Saturday, July 4, 2015, a special ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Ah-Nab-Awen Park, adjacent to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, to remind the crowd of the meaning behind this beloved summer holiday. As families gather to celebrate Independence Day, the Honor and Remember flag will be raised to pay tribute to all soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

The Honor and Remember Flag was created to serve as a national symbol that specifically acknowledges the sacrifice of men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives for their country in over two centuries of America’s history. Honor and Remember is a nonprofit organization founded by George Lutz, who lost his son Tony to a sniper’s bullet in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.

The organization is deeply committed to promoting broad national awareness of and groundswell interest in the flag, so that military, government and educational facilities as well as households throughout the country will begin flying the Honor and Remember Flag in recognition of our nation’s fallen warriors. It is also the goal of Honor and Remember to place one personalized Honor and Remember Flag in the hands of immediate families who have lost a loved one in military service to America. http://www.honorandremember.org/our-mission/

The Salute a Soldier presentation is being sponsored by SpartanNash. Frank VanderMeer, a Vietnam veteran and 40-year associate of SpartanNash, will tell the thousands waiting for the fireworks about Honor and Remember, describe the flag’s symbolism, and then call the crowd’s attention to the flag flying. Frank will ask all active duty and veterans to stand for a round of applause. Frank has also been actively involved with the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and volunteers with associates every other month.

The Holland American Legion Band will perform following the flag presentation, in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Amway Family Fireworks Celebration.

“SpartanNash cares deeply for those who defend our freedom and protect our families,” said Ed Brunot, EVP and President of SpartanNash’s MDV military division. “We are committed to ensuring that these brave men’s and women’s sacrifices and stories are not forgotten.”

Brunot serves on the Board of Directors of Honor and Remember and has been instrumental in raising awareness of and funds for Honor and Remember flags.

Last year, SpartanNash was a sponsor of the Holland American Legion’s trip to Normandy and 14 additional World War II European battle sites for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The Honor and Remember flag was flown at the U.S. cemetery in Normandy.

The Honor and Remember Flag’s design is distinctive, yet simple. Each detail on the flag symbolizes an important part of the overall meaning of the flag’s message.

The Red Field represents the blood spilled by brave men and women in America’s military throughout our history, who willingly gave their lives so that we all would remain free.

The Blue Star represents active service in military conflict. This symbol originated with World War I, but on this flag it signifies service through all generations from the American Revolution to present day.

The White Border beneath and surrounding the gold star recognizes the purity of sacrifice. There is no greater price an American can pay than to give his or her life in service to our country.

The Gold Star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given.

The Folded Flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life that a family sacrificed and gave to the nation.

The Flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.

“Words cannot express how important it is to recognize families who’ve lost those who’ve paid the ultimate price,” said George Lutz, founder of the Honor and Remember flag. “I’m grateful that a company the size of SpartanNash has recognized this flag and is committed to carrying its message.”