A message from the Connecticut church that started this memorial:
Members of the Memorial Garden Committee of the Somers Congregational Church placed 2,231 American flags on the west lawn, one for each American casualty in Iraq and Afghanistan. This “Field of Flags” was dedicated Sunday, October 23, 2005 with an outdoor service including the reading of the name and rank of each American casualty. This list, which was displayed on a sign in front of the Field of Flags was updated almost daily. Over 120 flags were added representing the continual loss of life since October 23rd. A notebook was available in the main lobby of the church building with the name, rank, town, state and date of death of each casualty.They may have started this memorial with 2,231 flags but, sadly, it has grown much larger since then...
The flags were placed to honor those who have given their lives in the conflicts and to show that those who have died and their families and friends were remembered in prayer at the Church. The idea for the field of flags came about as members of the Memorial Garden Committee considered what our church could do to show support for the troops. Each casualty reminded us of the danger, and increased the empathy we felt for the families of those who have died.
The Field of Flags had more impact than the committee envisioned with the media coverage and the emotional reaction from our community and beyond. People have come from towns across the state and out of state to see the flags and view the name board. Individuals and families have found the display to be quite emotional and comforting to know that their loves ones have been remembered. The Field of Flags remained in place until November 27. The Field of Flags is now at the Providence Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (ed. note: It is in New Milford now-CM1) We will pass the flags on to other churches that are willing to display them, keep the list updated, and add flags as necessary. We envision that church passing the display on to another church and so on, similar to a prayer chain.
If anyone knows of a church that may be interested in having the Field of Flags, they should call the church office (860) 763-4021. Additional information in setting up a Field of Flags may be found on our church website (www.somersnow.com/somerscong) under Field of Flags.
The Field of Flags was a silent, patriotic and poignant reminder of the cost of war. Each flag represented not simply one casualty, but all the family members and friends who have been touched by that life now gone. They represented 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. We ask that you keep all of these families in your prayers.
For anyone that would like to visit this memorial, it is located in Gaylordsville just north of New Milford on the 7. It should be on display until November 9th. And be sure to sign the guest book located in the mailbox next to the list of dead soldiers.