All this week on Art Hill in Forest Park, there has been a “Flags of Valor” installation. There are approximately 7,000 flags on display, one for each service member who has lost their life in theatre in the war on terror’s five operations since the 9/11 attacks, as well as a flag for every war fought by the US in which a soldier’s life has been lost, dating back to the American Revolutionary War. Each flag has an attached photo and dog tag, so you can identify who is being honored and so those brave Americans will not be forgotten.
It is almost impossible to describe the magnitude of this installation.
When the breeze picks up, and thousands of dog tags begin jingling, it sounds like wind chimes. It’s a beautiful and terrible sound.
In addition to the individual flags, there is also a “Flag of Honor,” which has the names of each person who lost their lives on 9/11 written into the stripes.
The display will be open through Sunday evening, and I highly recommend visiting it if you have a chance. I was able to go twice this week (and took four of the children with me the second time), and it was incredibly moving both times. Seeing all of the flags together really emphasizes how many soldiers have given their lives for our freedom.