Field of Flags honors Wisconsin's fallen heroes with nearly 30,000 flags

NOW: Field of Flags honors Wisconsin’s fallen heroes with nearly 30,000 flags

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- The 5th Annual "Field of Flags" ceremony was held Friday, May 24 at Veterans Park ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

27,316 American flags can be seen planted across the park, all representing a fallen Wisconsin hero.

"It's a reflection on those who served during each of the conflicts since the Civil War," said Mike Malloy, a Vietnam veteran who came to pay his respects.

Malloy says the Field of Flags is a tribute that's important to acknowledge each year and this year, it's almost double the size it was last year.

"It has evolved each year to represent more Wisconsin casualties. To tell their stories."

The nearly 30,000 flags were all placed by volunteers throughout the week. "It's an awe-inspiring sight, isn't it?" said Senator Ron Johnson during his remarks.

Milwaukee County Executive, David Crowley also spoke during the public ceremony.

"For me it is a reminder of how many parents, grandparents, children, siblings and loved ones have been impacted by war," Crowley said.

The final four flags were placed during the public ceremony Friday. Janine Sijan planted one of those flags in honor of her brother, Medal of Honor recipient, Captain Lance Sijan.

"Whenever we recognize those who serve and in particular my brother Lance, it fills my heart. We don't forget them when we continue to say their names," she said.

As a veteran, Malloy says he wants people to remember why holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day are so important.

"I would like to have people think about why they have a day off of work," he said.

He's encouraging families to bring their kids to the Field of Flags and explain to them what it represents.

"Talk to the younger members of their family to help them understand," he said.

The flags will remain planted through May 30.

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