Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Air Force Flag Flying Above Solano Sites

Air Force Flag Flying Above Solano Sites
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer

A flag commemorating the U.S. Air Force's 60th anniversary is flying high over Vacaville City Hall today, and it will appear elsewhere in the city this summer.
After today, the banner will be traveling throughout the county before climbing other flag poles in Vacaville. It will fly in Fairfield, Dixon, Suisun City, Benicia and Vallejo locations, including Pride Industries, Jelly Belly and Anheuser-Busch, before returning to Vacaville.

"This has kind of taken on a life of its own," said Capt. Vanessa Hillman, a spokeswoman at Travis Air Force Base.

"Within a day, we had this schedule put together with all of the cities," Hillman said. "I'm delighted and more than impressed with the local com- munity's support."

A commemorative flag was unveiled and raised over the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., earlier this month. The actual anniversary of the Air Force's creation, the day it separated from the Army to become a new branch of the service, is Sept. 18, 1947.

Hillman said locally, three flags were received: One ceremonial, one flying on Travis' main pole and one that is traversing the county. Eventually, she said the traveling flag would return to Travis to be displayed.

"The obvious choice is the (Travis) museum," Hillman said, "but that will be a discussion we have down the road."

Its next scheduled appearance in Vacaville is at the Chamber of Commerce from June 18 to 22, followed by other poles in downtown Vacaville from July 30 to Aug. 3.

Vacaville spokesman Mark Mazzaferro said the city is pleased to participate in the celebration.

"We have a huge connection to Travis; the mayor (Len Augustine) is a great example of 28 years in the Air Force," Mazzaferro said. "(The flag) helps sym-bolize how important Travis is, not only to the city, but to the country and the Air Force's mission."

Hillman said the anniversary celebration at Travis will culminate in a formal ball in mid-September.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at vacaville@thereporter.com.

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