If you stroll through Boston Common this weekend, you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by 37,000 American flags by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in honor of Memorial Day.
A team of 600 volunteers, organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, placed the flags on Wednesday Evening. The group is a non-profit that provides support and advocacy to veterans and families of fallen military and those lost in the 9/11 attacks who have local ties. Each flag represents a life lost in service, dating back to the Revolutionary War.
The group’s efforts began in 2009, and have since expanded as their research and accounting grew to include the Civil War, the War of 1812, and now the American Revolution, launching a second plot to the north of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
An additional 219 flags were planted Thursday morning during an outdoor ceremony, where the final names to be commemorated were read aloud by their family and friends.
The flags will be on display through Monday at sundown. But where will they go from here?
“We pull them, wrap them up, bundle them in crates, and save them for next year,” said Matthew Anderson, a Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund board member. “Many of these flags have been with us since the beginning.”