In ordinary times, the Saugatuck Congregational Church’s front lawn is impressive. Broad and lush, it sweeps handsomely from the historic white building to the well-traveled Post Road-Myrtle Avenue intersection.
It announces to all: Welcome to our New England town.
Next Friday (June 18), it will look more spectacular than ever.
All day long, church members, veterans and community groups will lovingly place nearly 6,000 American flags on the lawn. They’ll remain there until July 5 — right through Independence Day — serving as a silent, patriotic and poignant reminder of the cost of war.
Each flag, the church says, represents “not simply one casualty, but all the family members and friends who have been touched by that life now gone.”
The flags show “our respect for those who have served and are currently serving in the military, and our hope for peace in the future, for a time when no one is called upon by our country to give the greatest sacrifice.”
At 5 p.m. Friday, members of the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council will lead a dedication and service in the sancturary. There will be a flag-folding demonstration, and worn and tattered American flags will be collected for proper disposition.
Attendees can also write and send letters to military service members.
The next three Sunday Farmers Markets — June 20 and 27, and July 4 — in the church parking lot are also dedicated to Connecticut vets. Soccer balls will be collected to be sent to children in Iraq; funds will be raised for transitional housing facilities for more than 400 homeless female veterans, and letters and items will be collected to be sent to local service personnel serving overseas.
The Field of Flags committee extends a special invitation to Blue Star, Silver Star and Gold Star families — and all veterans of military service — to place a flag, and attend the dedication and interfaith service.
It’s a grand 6,000 flags!