Flags Unfurled

It has been a wet, windy, cold Memorial Day weekend for the most part, though it is bright and sunny today. The weather, combined with recent events, made this particular holiday feel like less of a summer kick-off and more of a time of real remembrance, at least for me. There are 33,000 flags flying on Boston Common, creating a “flag garden” commemorating the sacrifices of every service member from Massachusetts who gave his or her life defending the country since the Civil War. It’s a spectacular effort organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (I hate to nitpick, but I do with they had included soldiers from the Revolutionary War). Here in Salem, I took walks through the older downtown cemeteries (which include graves of several participants in the Revolution, on which someone always places flags) as well as the larger (and newer) “garden cemeteries” in North Salem:  Harmony Grove and Greenlawn. The pictures below are of the latter.

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The “Flag Garden” on Boston Common. Credit:  David L. Ryan/Boston Globe Staff.

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Flags and gravestones in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem, Memorial Day weekend, 2013, including graves of veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, and World Wars I & II.

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Not veterans (I think), but mothers, sisters, wives: graves of women who lived and died at the Home for Aged Women.

6 responses to “Flags Unfurled

  • Melinda

    A touching and beautiful collection, Donna~~the Common must be SOMETHING–would love to see it in that guise. . . .

  • Margy Rydzynski


  • Nina Anderson

    Lovely Donna! We spent an amazing Memorial Day in Dublin, NH, cheering for the veterans, listening to a particularly insightful service, and thrilling to the ever moving “taps” from the high school band…America in one of its finer moments. I think we all needed to pay homage this year???

  • Tamara T.

    The garden of flags is really how they look in the Boston Commons. There are lots of space between the flags. Most photos of the garden look creepy – as if there is zero space between the flags – and the people who are walking thru the garden of flags look to be superimposed. Photos w/ that many flags taken from a distance looks like an artificial surface. I don’t know…it’s weird to describe it in words A toddler in those garden of flags can look as tall as the flags themselves. A camera can distorts things.

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