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University of Phoenix flag-planting and ceremony honors fallen soldiers in annual Memorial Day event

By Sharla Hooper

Event features Color Guard Presentation by Arizona National Guard and veteran speakers

University of Phoenix held its annual Memorial Day flag-planting event May 23 on its Phoenix campus in Arizona, honoring the sacrifices of those who served and died in the Armed Forces. This year, volunteers from university employees and community members planted more than 10,000 flags spelling out, “Celebrate, Honor, Remember.”

“Memorial Day gives us all the chance to reflect and honor the American servicemembers who have given their lives in the service of our nation,” stated Eric Ryan, senior director of military operations in the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “We are proud and humbled to continue this tradition at University of Phoenix where we gather together as a community to honor the sacrifices of fallen servicemembers and their families.”

Following the flag-planting, Ryan led a ceremony that featured a Color Guard presentation, performances of “Taps” and the national anthem, and speakers including John Ramirez, MBA, MS/AJS-GHS, USA CSM (ret) and dean of operations for the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies, and Benita Beckles, COL, USAF (ret), member of ARAC Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Several Gold Star Mothers were in attendance.

On Friday, May 26, the flags will be collected by the nonprofit Arizona Heroes to Hometowns to be distributed at local military cemeteries ahead of Memorial Day.

“This event is such an important opportunity to build community and connection with servicemembers and their families,” stated Kathy Pearce of Arizona Heroes to Hometowns. “Each year, we participate to ensure that flags go to the national cemeteries along with many small cemeteries in Arizona that honor those that have served this great country.”

Learn more here about how University of Phoenix serves the educational goals of military students.


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