SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – South Plainfield’s inaugural Field of Honor is less than a week away and organizer Hannah Rhoads is busy ironing out all the final details. A large delivery came last week and, on Saturday, May 13, volunteers will head to Monument Park to begin the assembly and placement of 150 flags.
“In January, when flag sales began, we weren’t sure how it would go but the 150 flags were sold out in just three months. It was a great feeling. We appreciate all the sponsors, businesses and purchasers that have faith in this event,” said Hannah, 16, adding that the delivery of the flags and assembly materials last week makes it feel ‘real.’ “It’s all in my parent’s garage and just waiting for May 13. There’s plenty last minute things to do and then we will be ready.”
Part of a national movement run by the non-profit Colonial Flag Foundation (CFF), the Field of Honor is intended to celebrate the United States and pay tribute to all servicemen and women, veterans and first responders. Hannah is hosting the event in honor of her late brother, Army Specialist Ryan T. Rhoads who passed away May 21, 2015.
South Plainfield’s Field of Honor will feature 150 flags purchased by residents, businesses and organizations in honor of those living and deceased. The flags will be on display throughout Armed Forces Week, beginning on Sunday, May 14 and concluding with a ceremony – rain or shine – on Saturday, May 20 – Armed Forces Day.
“I’m glad that we were able to schedule this during Armed Forces Week. Not many people are as familiar with it as they are of Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day,” said Hannah. “The significance of Armed Forces Day will be part of the program. It’s really interesting.”
In addition to serving as a patriotic tribute, the Field of Honor will also benefit the South Plainfield Department of Social Services with proceeds from sponsorships going to the South Plainfield Food Pantry.
“I can’t wait to pass along the proceeds to the Social Services Department and its director, Marge Ackerman,” said Hannah. “Money to purchase every-day necessities for families in need is so needed in the summer time and this is just in time.”
Field of Honor flags will be erected on Saturday, May 13, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and remain on display through May 21. The Field of Honor ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 2 p.m. Those who dedicated a flag may pick theirs up from 4 to 6 p.m. May 21.
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