WALLINGFORD — Standing in the lobby of Gaylord Hospital Thursday, Lee Cyphers held back tears as he thanked the dozens of guests at a dedication ceremony for an American flag flown during a special operations mission last year in Afghanistan in honor of the rehabilitation facility.
Cyphers, a hospital maintenance worker, said he has lobbied to have a flag displayed in the hospital lobby since he began working at Gaylord. He said many of his family members and former patients are veterans, and it was a significant moment for him to see the flag dedicated to men and women who serve.
“I’ve been here 15 years and it has been a mission of mine for quite a while,” Cyphers said. “Here we are today. Finally, finally.”
Framed with a short inscription, the flag is displayed next to the information desk.
“We really didn’t just want to purchase a flag and install it,” Director of Facilities Bob Hall said. “We wanted a flag with special meaning.”
Hall said he brought the idea to administration for approval and discussed how the flag would be displayed. He said they understood the significance of a dedicated flag inside of the hospital.
“Everyone sees it, when they come and visit us,” Hall said. “I thought it was a great idea. I knew it was something very special to Lee.”
Cyphers hopes the hospital will continue to recognize veterans. Hall said he was appreciative of the administration, staff and patients that attended the flag ceremony, and said the dedication was a way to honor all veterans.
“I’d like to thank all of you for coming out today to help dedicate the flag,” Hall said. “I’d like to thank all of the men and women of our armed forces who work for our freedom every single day.”
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