37,000 Flags on the Boston Common

Since 2009, every Memorial Day weekend volunteers for the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund plant a “memorial garden” of small US flags around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Boston Common.  Each represents a Massachusetts life lost in military service.

Photo by Jesse Costa, WBUR.
Photo by Jesse Costa, WBUR.

The Fund was formed with the help of the late Senator Ted Kennedy and local families of those killed in September 11th attacks, to help families of soldiers who have died in the wars following those attacks.  As of this year, 219 Massachusetts soldiers have been killed in these 21st century “wars on terror”.

“Jeffery McDermott kisses the flag he intends to plant for his son Spc. Ryan McDermott.” Photo by Jesse Costa, WBUR.

The Memorial Day Flag Garden places these most recent losses in the context of all 37,000 Massachusetts military men and women who have died in wars from the American Revolution onwards.  This year 600 volunteers planted the thousands of flags on Thursday evening.  Another army of volunteers will collected the flags this evening and store them for next year’s spectacle.

Photo by David L Ryan, staff photographer at the Boston Globe.
Photo by David L Ryan, Boston Globe.
Photo from massmilitaryheroes.org.
Photo from massmilitaryheroes.org.
Twitter posting from @MassGovernor Charlie Baker.
Twitter posting from @MassGovernor Charlie Baker.
Volunteer Shannon Day of Boston.  Photo  from The Sacramento Bee.
Volunteer Shannon Day of Boston. Photo from The Sacramento Bee.
Photo by Dian Zhang.
Photo by Dian Zhang.
The 2014 Flag Garden. Photo from dcbarroco.wordpress.com.
The 2014 Flag Garden. Photo from dcbarroco.wordpress.com.
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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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