Thousands of flags planted on Boston Common for fallen service members

BOSTON — For the ninth straight year, a group planted thousands of flags on Boston Common to honor fallen service members.

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund first organized the effort nine years ago, planting flags to represent fallen service members from Massachusetts since the beginning of the Revolution.

The group had 37,268 flags for the event.

Vicki McKenna, a volunteer at the event, said that the flags are a way to honor the officers and their loved ones.

"All these flags represent somebody whose lost their lives, and they all have families" McKenna said. "Fortunately I didn't lose anybody in the war, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the families and all who have served."

While McKenna may not have a personal connection, others do, like combat veteran Carole Ferschke.

Ferschke has lost many friends over the years, and said a fellow veteran recently committed suicide.

"She was suffering in silence. None of us knew. It was heart-wrenching," Ferschke said. "It really helps me have some closure about some of this."

Organizers for the event, like Steve Kerrigan of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, say the flag garden only stays up through the weekend, but believe that's long enough to get their message across.

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"Cape Cod traffic and cookouts and stuff dominated the news cycle and dominated peoples' focus around Memorial Day," Kerrigan said. "We wanted to make sure people understood."