Healing Field: Honoring Sacrifices

What does a flag mean?  Why is it important?  The questions are simple, the answers are not.  As with many simple questions, these answers are not easy to express.  The United States flag is, by its very nature, an emblem infused with feeling.  Old Glory reflects the most momentous events of our national history.  Yet the flag can also be very personal.   Sometimes in our national experience the momentous and the personal collide.

Heroes USA

On the eleventh day of September in 2001, we watched television screens in disbelief as two planes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center.  We stared in horror at images of the towers collapsing and killing thousands.  Trying to make sense of the senseless, we watched while three New York City fire fighters raised the Stars and Stripes over the ruble.  That simple act comforted.  The flag reminded us that those killed in the attacks had each became a part of America’s history of sacrifice.  It reminded us that we all are part of something greater than self.  We reached out to one another and found unity in our resolve.

In the days and weeks following the attacks, we found unity and a nation.  We remembered the values that unite us as a people.

On the first anniversary of the attacks, the United States flag served again as a focal point to comfort us and remind us.  Sandy, Utah became the setting for a new memorial.  Paul Swenson envisioned a brilliant display of the Star and Stripes.  Not one flag raised over rubble, but a mass of flags flying over a green field, a Healing Field.  Over three thousand flags, one flag for each casualty of the terrorist attacks.

Healing Field

Healing Field in Sandy, Utah.

Just as the enormity of the attacks overwhelmed us emotionally, the display of three by five foot U. S. flags mounted on eight foot poles impacts the viewer emotionally.

Over the years, the concept of the Healing Field has spread across the Nation to each state and the District of Columbia.

Each year, a Healing Field in Sandy has honored the sacrifices of the September eleventh attack.  This year, the ninth visible expression of the Healing Field will rise in front of Sandy’s City Hall.  Volunteers will set up the ordered lines of flags in the early evening of Thursday, September 9th and the flags will fly until Monday, September 13th.  A Dedication Ceremony will take place on the anniversary of the attack, September Eleventh at Twelve Noon.

Join us at the 2010 Sandy Healing Field.  Share with us this moving experience to bring us together as a Nation and as a people.

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