Representatives of Indiana Task Force 1 (Mark Rapp Sr., far left, and Jay Settergren–each was deployed to the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks) hold a flag along with OneAmerica employees/military veterans (left to right) Jeff Hornung, Carmen Frazier, Marcia Gascho, and Tom Littlejohn. (Photo: Jordan Whitt)
On January 20, OneAmerica presented its long-displayed U.S. Garrison flag to members of Indiana Task Force One (INTF-1), one of 28 elite rescue teams across the country designed to quickly assemble and respond to catastrophes. The flag became a year-round fixture in the OneAmericaTower lobby in Indianapolis following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Recently, a permanent, public art tribute to the flag replaced the flag during lobby renovations.
A snapshot of one of the 16 patriotic flag banners that was officially unveiled in the OneAmerica Tower lobby.
“The American flag is an important symbol of who we are at OneAmerica. From the top of our Downtown Indianapolis tower to our walking flag used in parades, we are proud to display our Stars and Stripes, and we respect and cherish those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our citizens,” said OneAmerica President and CEO Scott Davison. “When the time came to find a new home for our well-loved flag, we could think of no better caretakers than our local heroes who responded in New York on 9/11.”
INTF-1 is a nearly 200-member U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency search and rescue team formed in the early 1990s. In 2001, 62 Hoosiers from the task force were deployed to the World Trade Center in New York City following the attacks on the Twin Towers.
OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison (at podium) introduced Gerald George, Assistant Chief of the Washington Township/Avon (Indiana) Fire Department, speaks at a ceremony at OneAmerica Tower.
A group of OneAmerica employees who are U.S. military veterans presented the flag to INTF-1 so that it may now be housed, displayed, and preserved at the INTF-1 command center near Indianapolis International Airport.
“This year marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack, and given its connection to our deployment in 2001, we are proud to give this symbolic flag a new home,” said Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Neal, who leads INTF-1 and was a commander of the 9/11 team.
As a tribute to the 20-by-38-foot flag and the role it continues to play in the company’s culture, OneAmerica commissioned a floating, 16-piece patriotic installation by local artist Walter Knabe. The illuminated interior banner sculpture faces the high-traffic intersection of Ohio and Illinois streets in Downtown Indianapolis and is part of $2 million in renovations designed to create a more open, engaging atmosphere throughout the lower level of the tower. Other changes include acoustical panels, lighting features, and common areas created to encourage conversation, collaboration and community interaction. New amenities to the entrance include a Pacers Bikeshare station.
“The banner project for the One America lobby was for me a very inspiring project. It was exciting to create a visual narrative that was a celebration of patriotism,” Knabe said.
OneAmerica will continue the company’s longstanding tradition of displaying a smaller U.S. flag in the first-floor lobby from Flag Day through Independence Day, as well as flying the flag on top of the OneAmerica Tower.
For more, visit www.OneAmerica.com/companies,