Community Alley Christened with Flag-Raising Ceremony

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In advance of Veteran’s Day, the military business resource group of Huntington Bank hosted a flag-raising ceremony to honor past and active military personnel. 

The ceremony took place Thursday morning at the Huntington Bank Community Alley, a “tremendous jewel” for the city of Youngstown to have to honor veterans, said William Shivers, regional president of Huntington Bank.

“My father was a veteran of World War II, so it’s very special to do this today and before Veteran’s Day,” he said. 

The flag-raising was the first formal event at the space underneath the Market Street Bridge, part of the new riverfront amphitheater and greenspace downtown.

In attendance were the Struthers High School Marching Band, Boy Scout Troop 101 of Struthers and Maj. Scott Allen, chief of public affairs at the 910th Airlift Wing of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

“It’s something we’re becoming used to here in the Mahoning Valley because this is a very patriotic area,” Allen said. “It shows a lot of appreciation to veterans and this is another excellent opportunity for that appreciation.”

Huntington Bank is honored to have the opportunity to recognize veterans and active military personnel who fight for the country’s freedoms everyday, said Amanda Bundy, a training specialist at Huntington.

Huntington Bank Regional President Bill Shivers

“We’re excited to be able to use this space [Community Alley] and give back to the community,” she said. “It will be an annual tradition going forward.” 

Through the Huntington’s military business resource group, military service members and their families are assisted during challenging times. Examples set by veterans, including Bundy’s husband and her dad, have inspired others not only to serve but show how to serve, she said. 

“Their character and their values exemplify a service heart, which is one of our values here at Huntington,” she said. “Their example of selfless service to others is why we are here today.” 

Even though it was cold and rainy, it was good to still see the marching band and locals come out for the ceremony, Allen said. Joshua Hawkins, Struthers Marching Band director, said it’s always great for the band to support how community honors veterans. 

“It’s always good for the young kids to see that,” he said. “You get very insulated and isolated in a high school and you don’t realize what goes on in the greater community sometimes. It’s nice for us to get out and support veterans.” 

“God Bless America” was one of the songs the band performed and even though it’s an ubiquitous tune, it’s special to Hawkins and it still makes him tear up, he said. 

“I would hope that’s special to [the students] knowing the message behind it,” Hawkins said. “Our country is more than just a collection of people. There’s a spiritual aspect to what we do, how we support people and how we love each other.” 

“We have freedom in the United States because of our military,” Huntington’s Shivers said. “If you know one or meet one, shake their hand and tell them, ‘Thank you.’ ”

Pictured: Boy Scout Troop 101 of Struthers raises the American flag at Huntington Bank Community Alley Thursday in the first formal event at the space.

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