Ceremony at the Congregational Church of New Fairfield on August 17, 2008
The Field of Flags was dedicated at the Congregational Church of New Fairfield on Sunday August 17, 2008 during a ceremony held during worship that day. The worship and ceremony included an honor guard from the New Fairfield Veterans Association. During worship, “We Would Be One” and “God Bless America” were sung, while “Field of Flags,” by Luanne Crosby, was played as the congregation processed from the worship service in the Jack Grant Chapel in the Martha Fairchild Memorial Gardens to the front of the church. A litany, written by Stephen M. Shick of UCMH Hudson, MA, was used during the dedication.
The News-Times covered the story as a special article in the local section in their August 21, 2008 edition. They also gave the ceremony and display a “Thumbs Up” on the editorial page in their August 25, 2008 edition. Some photos of the dedication follow:
History of the Field of Flags
The “Field of Flags” was dedicated on Sunday, October 23, 2005 at the Somers Congregational Church in Somers, Connecticut. Members of the Memorial Garden Committee of the Somers Congregational Church placed 2,231 flags, one for each American casualty in Iraq and Afghanistan. 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 list of casualties, by state, was displayed on a name board by the Field of Flags showing the name and rank of each American casualty. A notebook was kept in the church building with the name, rank, town, state, and date of death of each American casualty.
The idea for the Field of Flags came about as members of the Memorial Garden Committee considered what the church could do to show support for our 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 the community and beyond. People came 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 emotional, yet comforting to know that their loved ones have been remembered.
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 of the family members and friends who have been touched by that life now gone. 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. Please continue to pray for the safety of all of our troops and for the families of the fallen heroes.
Churches that are interested in having the Field of Flags can call the church office at the Somers Congregational Church, Somers, Connecticut at +1 860-763-4021. Members of the Memorial Garden Committee will bring the flags and the name board to your church and assist in setting up the Field of Flags
Somers Congregational Church, Somers, Connecticut (October 23, 2005; 2,231 flags)
Providence Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia (December 21, 2005; 2,426 flags)
Freedom Fest, Virginia Beach, Virginia (April 29, 2006; 2,655 flags)
The Congregational Church of Somersville, Somersville, Connecticut (May 25, 2006; 2,654 flags)
Westchester Congregational Church, Colchester, Connecticut (July 8, 2006; 2,857 flags)
Outer Banks Presbyterian Church, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina (August 20, 2006; 2,934 flags)
Harvest Assembly of God, Chesapeake, Virginia (November 4, 2006; 3,156 flags)
Providence Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia (December 20, 2006; 3,287 flags)
Conyngham United Methodist Church, Conyngham, Pannsylvania (March 24, 2007; 3,592 flags)
The Congregational Church of Somersville, Somersville, Connecticut (May 24, 2007; 3,811 flags)
St. Joseph Oblate Seminary, Pittston, Pennsylvania (July 12, 2007; 4,018 flags)
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Elysburg, Pennsylvania (August 23, 2007; 4,129 flags)
Gaylordsville United Methodist Church, New Milford, Connecticut (September 21, 2007; 4,129 flags)
Union United Methodist Church, Bridgeville, Deleware (November 8, 2007; 4,310 flags)
First United Church of Tampa, Tampa, Florida (January 5, 2008; 4,373 flags)
Clearview United Methodist Church, St. Petersburg, Florida (February 11, 2008; 4,428 flags)
Christ Congregational Church, Miami, Florida (March 10, 2008; 4,454 flags)
First Congregational Church, Ridgefield, Connecticut (May 16, 2008; 4,576 flags)
Congregational Church of Easton, Easton, Connecticut (July 13, 2008; 4,658 flags)
Congregational Church of New Fairfield, Connecticut (August 14, 2008; 4,708 flags)
Clinton Congregational Church, Clinton, Connecticut (September 12, 2008)
Ivoryton Congregational Church, Ivoryton, Connecticut (October 11, 2008)
The Congregational Church of Somersville, Somersville, Connecticut (November 2008)