A Seventh-day Adventist surgeon has joined U.S. General Colin Powell and boxing legend Muhammed Ali in creating a U.S. flag that honors brave and service-oriented Americans and will be displayed in a museum in the nation’s capital.
Leonard Bailey, a pioneer in children’s heart transplant surgery, affixed one of the 50 white stars on the “Flag of Hope” when it stopped by the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital this week during a trip through more than 150 cities as it heads to the the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
“Dr. Leonard Bailey received one of 50 stars honoring his accomplishments and his contributions to medicine and mankind,” Loma Linda University Health, the hospital’s parent company, said in an e-mailed statement.
“Flag of Hope,” co-led by artist and U.S. Army veteran Marcos Antonio, began its journey at the Indianapolis 500 raceway on May 23, 2015. The goal is to collect 3,000 to 4,000 American hand and finger impressions on a giant canvas to create the national flag.
The 50 stars are being awarded to iconic U.S. citizens who have contributed to the strength and well being of the country by acting as pioneers, role models, and leaders in society. Other participants include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and philanthropist Alan Hassenfeld.
The flag is being created to show appreciation to people who serve local communities, such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, doctors, and nurses, and to honor U.S. soldiers, Loma Linda University Health said.
“It calls us to remember all Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of both foreign and domestic enemy attacks, and those who have dedicated their lives for the benefit of humanity,” it said.
Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the vast geographic region of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties in southern California. It is also a major pediatric teaching facility, known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation.
Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned Loma Linda University Health comprises eight professional schools, six hospitals, and more than 900 faculty physicians. It is a faith-based health system whose declared mission is “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”