Thousands of flags honor veterans this Memorial Day at Westerville’s Field of Heroes

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WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) –Field of Heroes was started by Westerville Rotary Club nine years ago where American flags can be purchased online or on site with a special dedication.

The sea of flags can be found across from the Westerville Community Center on Cleveland Avenue.

One word can describe the field of red, white and blue: beautiful.

Three thousand 8-feet tall American flags stand to honor each and every hero in our lives.

Field of Heroes started nine years ago with 1,500 flags and now can be seen with more than double that amount. A tradition that Patrick Knott says was started to bring back the spirit Memorial Day. “It’s a way for people to honor heroes in their lives, many times that’s military. We celebrate a lot of veterans in this field but it’s also a chance for people to celebrate any hero in their life. It can be a teacher it, it can be a parent someone who made an impact,” said Knott.

More than 300 volunteers will come out this weekend to set up the flags and each one with a tribute card to a hero. Coordinates are placed on the back. You go up to a tent and give them your information then are directed toward a specific lettered row to find your American flag.

At the end of the weekend people can come pick up their flag and take it home and present it to their hero or save in memory.

“The community really wanted us to continue this tradition because of bringing back the real purpose of what Memorial Day and what we celebrate. When these flags go up it, it kind of becomes hallowed ground it has a different feel to it and then when the flags go down on Monday it turns back into a soccer field so it’s really a sacred place when the flags are here,” said Knott.

There’s a grid system A-Z that goes 78 rows deep. “We assign a coordinate to every flag so that when people come out to see their flag that they honored for their hero we can tell them exactly where it is,” said Knott.

The American flags span across three to four acres.

“It’s very meaningful to me I was the chair the first year and at the time we were only going to do it for one year but the outpouring from the community and what it meant to them. I just remember meeting so many people out here who were crying in this field for people that they’ve lost that they’ve honored in this field with a flag,” said Knott.

The flags are purchased at Colonial Flag Foundation in Utah. The flags paid for over the weekend goes back to the cost of purchasing them.

Flags can be purchased on site or through the website fieldofheroes.org for $30.

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