The FIELD OF FLAGS in Blue Hill was transformed Saturday morning to a field of memories.
The 25+ people who gathered at the Iraq War Dead Memorial on a chilly, bright and breezy day thoughtfully removed the 6,316 flags, then placed them tenderly on the waiting cloth on the ground. The small, white flags represent US soldiers killed to date in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war memorial overall represents all of those who have died since the invasion, including the estimated 1.5 million civilians.
As in past years, artist Pat Wheeler’s quilt was used to receive the bundles of flags. The particular quilt was created in 2005, during an occupation of Rep. Tom Allen’s office, at the height of the anti-Iraq-war protests. A black X was marked on the quilt for each GI name read aloud, and a red X marked for each Iraqi death read.
Appreciation for the courageous work of Veterans for Peace was acknowledged by the flying of two VFP banners at the field.
We gathered in a circle and shared poems and reflections of the day and the time. People spoke of compassion and grief, responsibility, appreciation and transformation. This is the seventh consecutive year that Peninsula Peace & Justice and Island Peace & Justice have observed Veterans Day weekend “in this place where we remember.” Thank you again to Rufus Wanning for his long-time commitment to peace in providing this beautiful space.