What is the Meaning Behind the Memorial Day Flags in Boston Common

A poignant tradition takes place in Boston Common at the end of May, marking the start of summer, but also remembering something very significant. Each Memorial Day, Boston Common becomes a sea of American flags, honoring the Massachusetts service members who have given their lives for our country.

Boston residents have descried it as an emotional experience, and if you have had the chance to visit this installation before you may describe a similar experience. To imagine we have had so many residents from this state willing to put it all on the line is one thing, but to see it brought to life through this yearly memorial.

The display of 37,000 flags on the Boston Common, the oldest park in the country, is a poignant sight for both locals and visitors. Each flag represents a Massachusetts service member who has died in service, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Volunteers work tirelessly to plant these flags, creating a powerful tribute.

It is a moving that vision, especially for families concerned that their sacrifices may not me remembered. With the help of 600 volunteers, Boston Common is transformed into a vivid display of red, white, and blue, creating an impactful tribute promises these service members’ stories will not be forgotten.

The added significance is also a reminder of the rich history of Massachusetts. With the first casualties of Revolutionary War being in Boston, Lexington and Concord.

Help plant flags on Wednesday, May 22nd. To sign up as an individual volunteer, please use this Volunteer for the Boston Memorial Day Flag Memorial in Boston Common. 

Attend the name reading ceremony on Thursday, May 23rd at 10:30am. During this ceremony, families of the Massachusetts fallen service members from September 11th, 2001 and onward, will read the names of their loved ones at the Boston Common Flag Garden.

Sign up for a shift to watch the flags over the weekend. Shifts are in two hour increments and will occur from Thursday, May 23rd at 12:00pm until Monday, May 27th at 5:30pm. Volunteers watching the flags will be assigned in teams and will also be trained on how to educate the community about the display.

Help us retire the Flag Garden beginning at 5:30pm, May 27th.

Have you been? Would you go? Follow me for all the Boston.



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