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FIELD OF HONOR

Flags adorned the field in front of the Food Lion on Highway 97, representing 250 local heroes.

The flags were displayed from Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 13. A ceremony was held on September 11 to recognize the heroes, which included veterans, police officers, firefighters and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It just gives you a lump in your throat," Joyce Finn, an organizer of the event, said at the beginning of the ceremony.

Finn said the idea for the display came earlier this year and was planned for Memorial Day. Those plans were thwarted, however, due to COVID-19. But Finn said she still wanted to be able to do something to recognize heroes.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Finn said many other heroes have come about, to include grocery store workers, restaurant workers and many others.

Finn said it was fitting to have the event on September 11.

"This morning 19 years ago this country had a devastating shock occur," Finn said. "If you are going to recognize a hero, 9/11 is the time to do it."

The VFW Post 2057 and the Sharpsburg Exchange Club hosted the special event but many others stepped up to make sure the event happened.

Finn said Pfizer employees stepped up to volunteer their time to help put flags up. Other help came from the West Mount Fire Department, Sharpsburg Police Department, Nash County Sheriff's Office and the Army ROTC.

Names displayed on each flag were read during the ceremony last Friday and patriotic songs were also sung as part of the event.

Philiip Pullen, a World War II veteran, was recognized during the ceremony. Pullen was unable to attend the event due to being in a nursing home, however, his service was celebrated. Pullen served in the Battle of the Bulge and suffered severe frostbite.

Finn said this was the first time the event had been held but she was pleased with how it had turned out. Family members of the flags that were displayed were able to take the flags home after they were displayed.

Pictured (Above): Kymber Schmitz puts her hand over her heart during the National Anthem at the Heroes Field of Honor ceremony last Friday. Schmitz serves as the young mascot of the VFW Auxiliary and passed out American flag fans to guests who attended the ceremony.


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