For the seventh year, the Exchange Club of Southwest Georgia in Albany is is erecting 1,000 American flags in the field on the west side of the Albany Mall as a memorial for 9/11 and to honor veterans, current military servicemen and all first responders. The flags, about 3 feet by 5 feet, fly from eight foot poles and the field covers a little more than an acre in area.
The “Field of Flags” will be erected beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday; it will take almost eight hours to set up. The crew will drill 1,000 holes in the ground, 5 feet apart in rows of 50 flags each being 10 feet apart. A 3-foot rebar is placed into each hole and a flag pole slipped over each rebar. The flags will remain in place through Sept. 12.
The field is available for all visitors to walk through, take pictures of and enjoy for the full week. Often, veterans come by to gaze on the filed of American flags and have their own reminiscences. One gentleman from England said nothing like this would happen in England because they do not view their flag with the same respect as we do ours in America
Many pictures are taken during the week. Often, someone will be out at the field at sunrise to get great pictures. And children, also great subjects in pictures with the flags, love to run through the field under the flags flapping in the breeze.
A memorial program will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 11. The Marine Corps Band from MCLB, Albany, will provide music for the program. As part of the memorial the names of approximately 150 Georgians who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read, followed by a rifle salute and the playing of Taps.
Anyone who would like to honor or memorialize someone who has served the United States in military service or as a first responder may, for a donation of $25, have that person’s name printed on a tag that will be tied to a flag in the field. The flag, with pole and rebar, may be claimed by the donor following the memorial program.
To order a flag or for additional information, contact Marvin Mixon at 894-9578.
By Marvin Mixon