FOXBOROUGH, Mass—On the bicentennial weekend of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” the USO was invited to Gillette Stadium to display it’s own red, white and blue standard: a Guinness World Record-breaking flag.
The USO Every Moment Counts Flag, which shattered the Guinness World Record for most signatures on a flag at 115,405, was displayed during the New England Revolution’s match against the Montreal Impact.
Designed as the ultimate thank you note to troops and military families, the 80-foot-by-120-foot, 350-pound flag boasts signatures from Americans in all 50 states and seven other countries.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said USO New England volunteer T.R. Collins, who started with the USO when her son went off to college. “The USO puts me in the heart of Active service members and lifting their spirits actually comes back to me tenfold.”
The flag was unfurled at halftime by more than 100 USO New England volunteers amidst a summer downpour while Tennessee Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Angie Johnson and the USO Show Troupe performed for the crowd. Nearly 3,000 police, fire, EMS personnel, active duty service members, reservists and family members from all five branches of the military were in attendance.
After the match, New England Revolution players took the time to meet with troops and families, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
The next stop on the flag’s tour is in Dover, Delaware, at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 28.
For more information on the USO’s Every Moment Counts campaign – which rallies Americans to show their support for troops and their families – visit USOmoments.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter using #USOmoments.