“The Field of Flags is a silent, patriotic and poignant reminder of the cost of war. Each flag represents not simply one casualty, but all the family members and friends who have been touched by that life now gone,” explains an excerpt from the history of the Field of Flags, provided by the members of the Somers Congregational Church Memorial Garden Committee, which helped create the memorial in 2005.
“They represent our respect for those who have served and are currently serving in the military and our hope for peace in the future, for a time when no one is called upon by our country to give the greatest sacrifice,” says the excerpt.
Members of the committee placed 2,231 American flags, one for each American casualty in Iraq and Afghanistan, at the Somers Congregational Church in 2005. The idea for the field came about as the committee thought through what the church could do to demonstrate support for troops. Since the first "Field of Flags" dedication, the memorial has traveled throughout the country.
On this refreshing Friday morning, Mar. 18, with the anticipation of spring in the air, over 5,900 flags were set up by volunteers on the lawn of the Congregational Church in Killingworth where they will remain for one month. The list of casualties is displayed on a name board.
"It's a project we've seen locally and we really wanted to be part of, to bring awareness to how many troops we've lost and the price they've paid for us. We're glad to be a part of this," explains Dawn Tischbein of the church.
Reverend Martha Bays feels the Field of Flags is "a powerful symbol."
Said the minister, "Our church council voted to to this, and it's something we wanted to do to honor the men and women who have given their lives. We want to do it as a religious statement as much as anything. It's important to honor those who have served our country and make sure we don't forget."
The Dedication Ceremony, open to the community, will be held on Sunday, Mar. 20 at 12 p.m.
Churches interested in having the Field of Flags can call the office at the Somers Congregational Church at (860) 763-4021. Members of the Memorial Garden Committee will bring the flags and name board and assist in setting up the Field of Flags.