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From Flag Day to Veterans’ Day: The cascading effects of good deeds

OSWEGO, NY – One thing leads to another and another and …

This is the story of citizens in action and how simple acts often can and do contribute to the greater good of the community, if not entire region.

The flags on display June 14, at the downtown Syracuse offices of National Grid

The flags on display June 14, at the downtown Syracuse offices of National Grid

Back in May, local residents and National Grid employees Nancy Fiaccone, Michelle Cupoli, Rachel Davenport, Kym and Steve Spaeth and Bryan Barrows wanted to do something special to not only honor our nation but also to help returning soldiers and veterans in our communities.

They thought it would be a great idea to showcase their company’s and their co-workers support by celebrating Flag Day in a big way.

So, on June 14, the downtown Syracuse, office complex of National Grid was lined with more than 1,500 flags.

The flags, which were visible to the public, were placed along the property roadways and greenery and the effect was spectacular; helping hundreds show their support and patriotism.

However, the subtle act of patriotism hardly raised a blip on the area media’s radar.

After the Flag Day event, the hundreds of company employees who donated funds to purchase the flags were able to take some of the flags home in remembrance and tribute.

In addition, the remaining event flags and fundraising proceeds of more than $3,000 were donated to the Thank a Service Member charity to help host a special outing for returning veterans and those in need of a day out.  (see related Oswego County Today Story: http://

oswegocountytoday.com/?p=89932)

For information about TASM, visit: www.thankaServiceMember.org

This event was a special day for many veterans in “need of a day for themselves” and had far-reaching effects. In fact, the Veterans Boat Cruise and Luncheon was an enjoyable and relaxing day of scenery and serenity as the boat slowing navigated on the historic Erie Canal.

Those in attendance came from every branch of service. Some of the veterans were recovering from injuries suffered while deployed overseas, some were still on active duty, some of the veterans volunteer their time to helping other veterans and take no time for themselves.

For all of these veterans – this day was a rare and much needed treat.

But – the story doesn’t here.

On Nov. 3, Upstate New York received the tragic news of the loss of three soldiers from the 444th Engineer Company, based in Oswego.

On Nov. 9, there was a private vigil held at Fort Ontario. The walkways from the parking lot up to the historic fort were lined with the previously donated flags.

At the conclusion of the vigil, the flags were given to those in attendance in remembrance and tribute.

These fine soldiers, and all who came before them, were honored again at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

They will continue to be honored and remembered by their friends, family and comrades today and every day.

You reap what you sow. Back in May, a group of caring individuals planted the seeds of goodwill never realizing how many lives they would continue to touch six months later.

On Veterans’ Day we saw the results of their efforts this spring. It is possible we haven’t seen the last.

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