Heroes!? Are they real outside the comics? Absolutely! In our frenzied world we are growing a whole generation and more who have a very minimal understanding of who a real hero is. More and more as the Greatest Generation fades away there is a compelling need to define HERO! Dale Hemphill has done a wonderful job with his Spirit of America flag. He has produced a symbol that defines both hero and gratitude. It intends to plant a picture and vision of who a real hero is on the hearts and minds of the American public and beyond!
A US Navy veteran himself, Dale Hemphill designed Spirit of America as the emblem for his Spirit of America Foundation/Forgotten Heroes USA. The Spirit of America Flag is the only flag of its kind. It honors the veterans and heroes of wars past and our current soldiers who are fighting for our freedom. This flag also pays tribute to the many heroes and civilians who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Made in the U.S.A. Made out of nylon known for its weather resistance. Measures: 3′ x 5′.
According to Mr. Hemphill, “the nice thing about this flag is that it covers everything – 911, men and women, the cold war, you name it.” It has a rich history itself. “I started designing this in 1979 with the hostages in Iraq situation, when they were in captivity for 444 days. I’ve had my design stolen and even had the copyright cut out of the flag.”
The “Spirit of America” insignia was designed to recognize our men and women of the military forces and the battles they fought. “I recently updated it to include the eagles,” Dale told us. The insignia is graphic and intentional to remind us of many events and qualities of the Spirit of America:
- Spirit of America – Uniting Together
- Eagle – Freedom
- Red – Bloodshed
- Blue – Valor and Bravery
- 50 Stars – 50 States
- POW/MIA – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- 8 Stars – 8 Men who died in Iran rescue attempt
- Beirut – 241 American troops who lost their lives in barracks explosion
- Red/White/Blue ribbon between flag staffs – Firefighters, Policemen, Port Authority, Paramedics and EMT’s who died
- Yellow Ribbon – All the Heroes and civilians who gave or lost their lives on 9/11
- 2 red/white/blue stars bordering the insignia – represents the Twin Towers
- Wars – Revolutionary War, War of 1812, U.S. Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unfortunately after the parades are over and the flags cased, the gratitude we owe our veteran heroes – of whatever war or incident of national consequence like the brave men, women, and first responders of 9/11 – is often tucked away for another day as well. We must not, we cannot forget! These heroes are the bedrock of American patriotism and exceptionalism! They are the Spirit of America!
Due to his passion that we not forget, Dale Hemphill has founded the Spirit of America USA Foundation. The Spirit of America Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by a naval veteran realizing the need for historical recognition of American’s heroes and the sacrifices they made for our country. Its stated mission:
- To identify and prioritize veteran’s health issues; to coordinate a unified agenda, strategies, and action for effective legislative public health policies for homeless veterans and their families, and educational campaigns.
- To provide information on educational resources, research, and timely legislative activities; to develop educational and outreach program training materials for the homeless and destitute.
- To encourage the establishments of support groups and self-reliant employment, promote self-respect and dignity.
- To improve communications among local, regional, national, and international support advocacy organizations and individuals by providing expertise, assistance, and networking information; to establish a network linking support groups or veterans organizations by fax or computer.
- To network with other veterans organizations or individuals with regulatory, legislative, public health, social welfare, and disability organizations; to establish relationships with environmental labor, consumer, minority, children’s advocacy and other veteran’s support groups with common agendas; to insert veteran’s health issues into the mainstream of total health issues; to promote veteran’s justice.
- To promote health issue research; to promote fund raising events for funding of health issue research.
- To coordinate a research data base project in conjunction with established support and advocacy organizations to access the prevalence of service-connected disabilities; to provide data for lobbyist and researchers.
- To establish both standing and special committees to focus on veteran’s health issues and veteran’s issues in general that coordinates national campaigns for veterans and their families.
- To coordinate fund raising, donor development, grant writing, and customer active programs which will accomplish coalition goals and ensure financial stability and growth; to hire staff members to ensure schooling for the less privileged children of veterans; to provide shelter for the homeless and their families; to provide proper health care for the uninsured; to promote self-employment which establishes self-respect, dignity, and income to those less fortunate.
As the Spirit of America Foundation continues its mission to promote patriotism and the appreciation of our veterans, it has expanded its reach to help veterans in need in today’s tough economy. FORGOTTEN HEROES USA, LTD, supports the mission of the Spirit of America Foundation by offering patriotic products honoring America’s hardships in history dating back to the Revolutionary War to present day Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A percentage of each purchase is donated to the Spirit of America Foundation.
As we refresh our memories
Of all the wars gone by
Let each of us be grateful
For our “Heroes” you and I
They gave their all that we may live
In a country good and free,
“Lest We Forget” They did it all
For the likes of you and me.
Remember the “Heroes”
Who fought our wars
And kept “Old Glory” flying
Those who gave their utmost
And saved us all from dying.
Richard Hemphill – WWII
To all our veterans and heroes – the true Spirit of America – THANK YOU!