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Patriotic tributes prevail at AFRL's Rome Lab amid COVID-19 concerns

The flag display area at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Rome, N.Y. (Courtesy photo)

The flag display area at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Rome, N.Y. (Courtesy photo)

ROME, N.Y. -- While the businesses of New York have reduced to minimal or no manning in an effort to maintain social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the patriotic sounds of Reveille will still echo on the Griffiss Tech Park at the Air Force Research Lab's Rome Research Site to represent the prevailing patriotism in towns and cities across the nation. 

Although traditional gatherings and ceremonies have been cancelled, every Friday morning at 7:45 a.m., the Rome Research Site will continue to play aloud the Star Spangled Banner.

Reveille is a weekly occurrence at the Air Force installation in Rome designed to remind all personnel of the heritage, pride, esprit de corps and unit cohesion that can result from performing such ceremonies. The military tradition for the morning bugle call, known as Reveille, was originally conducted as "Troop" in 1812 and was designed to muster the unit or for roll call, but as time passed, it came to mark when the flag was raised in the morning and honors paid to it.

Effective noon, Friday, March 20, the Rome Research Site in Rome, N.Y. went into a mission critical posture including AFRL's Information Directorate, DFAS and other tenants. The total on-site presence was reduced from 1,200 government civilians, military and contractors to 125. Only mission critical employees are currently allowed on-site. All other employees are now on approved telework agreements. Due to the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of this posture is indefinite. 

The men and women of the Air Force Research Lab’s Rome site are currently teleworking to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 threat, but the lab’s mission continues to be performed by the dedicated team of Air Force officers and enlisted members, civilian employees, and many contractors.

Col. Timothy Lawrence, commander of the Rome lab installation asserts, “I am so proud of how our work force has adjusted during these trying times. Working with the local community leaders, we feel we are now postured to continue to contribute significantly to our nation’s defense. For those military, civilian and contractor Airmen on-site, for those working remotely, and for the wonderful patriots we have in the local community, we plan to continue playing our reveille song at 7:45 every Friday morning.  Hopefully those that live close to the site will be able to hear it and reflect on how our nation will be resilient as we all get through this challenge together!”

So, if necessities require you to drive by on NYS Route 825 at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, roll down your car window to hear the Star Spangled Banner- the USA will endure!