The American Heroes Club, a Schreiber High School club dedicated to giving back to American veterans, spent its Friday afternoon, Aug. 31, planting 90 three feet by five feet American flags on the terrace outside of the Weber Field parallel to Port Washington Boulevard as cars honked in approval of the 20 members hard work. Along with the 9/11 memorial consisting of a row of giant American flags flying in the wind, the club raised more than $2,000 for the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Henderson-Marino Post 1819.
“It’s awesome,” said club co-creator Andrew Athanasian of the memorial coming together. “We worked on this all summer. Ever since about May we’ve been ordering flags, ordering poles, ordering everything that we need to get this done. To see it finally come together, it’s special and it’s special for the community as well.”
“It is very satisfying to say the least,” said co-creator Harry Hoffman. “We’ve been working on this for a long time so it’s really nice to see it come through, especially because we have been working so hard on it.”
The flags were sponsored by community members for $40 each, with the flags costing about $12. Athanasian explained that a friend’s father is a flag manufacturer, so the club was able to get its flags through Annin Flag. Because of a few dozen donors, which are listed on a banner behind the memorial, the club was able to raise $2,100 that it will present to the VFW in the form of a check on Veterans Day.
“Home Run Electric is donating electricity and lights so we can light this up so that it looks nice at night,” said Athanasian. “Also so we don’t violate the flag code because at night all flags are supposed to be lit up. Out of respect for the American flag we’re going to have these lit up, so a big thank you to Home Run Electric.”
Athanasian explained that Commander of the VFW Post 1819 John Baptisto Fiore is also excited to see the memorial come together and has been extremely supportive of the group’s efforts.
“We’re very thankful to him for helping us help the VFW and he helps us with a lot of what we do,” said Athanasian. “So we’re very thankful to him and all the guys at the VFW.”
As the students planted the poles in the ground, advisor and social studies teacher George Muhlbauer watched over them.
“They’ve been so inspirational in what they have accomplished in such a short amount of time,” said Muhlbauer. “All the work that they’ve done, it’s a testament to the two creators and all the work they’ve put in and I’m just blown away by their level of care and dedication and not just them, really all the members, have dedicated their day to this cause.”