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Clemson To Honor Military Saturday

Sept. 20, 2001

Clemson, SC – Patriotism will be omnipresent at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 22. The Tigers and Cavaliers will kick off the game at 5:45 PM, but pregame ceremonies will begin at 5:15 PM.

Clemson was a military school until 1955 and the institution has a strong military heritage. Nearly 500 Clemson alumni gave their lives in various wars for the United States over the years.

Four Clemson graduates who were prisoners of war and served their country with distinction will be honored in pregame. Retired U. S. Army Colonel Ben Skardon, Class of 1938, is a survivor of the Bataan Death March. Colonel Skardon spent three years and four months as a Prisoner of War in the Philippines, Japan, and China. Former Army First Lieutenant Bill Funchess, Class of 1948, spent two years and 10 months as a prisoner of war in Korea. Retired Air Force Colonel Bill Austin, Class of 1959, spent five years and six months as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Retired Navy Commander Bob Fant, Class of 1960, spent four years and eight months as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.

The pregame ceremonies also will include a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11. During Tiger Band’s rendition of the The Star Spangled Banner, it will also be communicated in sign language.

The halftime ceremonies will include the unfolding of a Garrison Flag, a 21-gun salute by the Pershing Rifles and the playing of TAPS. The Tiger Band will perform various patriotic hymns. The 200-member Clemson University Chorus will also perform during halftime.

Other signs of patriotism will be visible at Clemson on Saturday:

Over 5,000 miniature American Flags will be distributed 50,000Tiger Paw Fans from The Palmetto Baptist Medical Center and theNational Kidney Foundation will be distributed. The Fans willinclude an American Flag, the inscription “God Bless America,September 11, 2001”, and a message on how fans can become an organdonor. Flags 5’X 8′ will be on display as fans walk into thestadium. American Flags will be painted on Bowmen Field in front ofthe Military Heritage Plaza, Riggs Field and in the end zones ofMemorial Stadium. 50,000 paper American Flags will be distributedat the Ticket Office, concession stands and all gates. Staticmilitary displays will be on Bowman Field beginning at 2:30 PM. TheAmerican Red Cross will be accepting donations as fans enterMemorial Stadium when the Gates Open until 6:00 pm. (checks or cashonly) All Clemson players will wear flags on their helmets. Over1,000 junior ROTC Cadets will be seated together in the stadium.