Honoring veterans on Patriot Day

NOW: Honoring veterans on Patriot Day

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A former South Bend judge and WWII veteran is the driving force behind a new Patriot Day ceremony. 

In July, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announce two flags will be lowered at half-staff to honor deceased veterans of St. Joseph County.

This has never been done before. Lowering the flag at half-staff is usually reserved to honor high-ranking people, but beginning today, the flags at the St. Joseph County Courthouse and Miller Veteran's Center will fly at half-staff to honor deceased veterans. 

Former South Bend Judge Robert L. Miller Sr., began the effort a little more than six years ago. He couldn't get it approved until recently. Miller says he wanted to do more to honor veterans and though lowering the flag would be a great way to do so. 

“That will be the first time we have ever flown the flag anywhere in the country for a veteran because he was a veteran not because of anything else," said Miller.

Three times a year, the flag will be lowered on Patriot Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. 

During Tuesday's ceremony, Millet will read the names of 43 deceased local veterans. There will also be a 21 gun salute. 

“The veterans are on that list not because of what they had or left, but because they gave their lives or part of their lives, some of them all of their lives for military service and our country," said Miller.

There will be two ceremonies for this historic event. The first begins at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County Courthouse. The second begins at 11 a.m. at the Miller Veteran's Center.

Seventeen years ago today, thousands of people died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

There are several Patriot Day ceremonies happening across Michiana to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died. 

Here are some of them:

- 9 a.m. at St. Patrick's Park at 50651 Laurel Rd.

- 10:45 a.m. at Holy Cross College  

- 11 a.m. at St, Joseph Health System at 5215 Holy Cross Parkway Mishawaka, Ind. 

- 6:30 p.m. at 2307 Elwood Ave., South Bend, Ind. 

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