You may not have noticed just driving up Gregory Boulevard, but the symbolism at Christ Episcopal Church has intensified over the past two weeks. The number of flags dotting the church's lawn grew as the days went by.
The reason is that more servicemen and women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each flag represents a fallen soldier, and Paul Mordoff, organizer of the church's Field of Flags exhibit, has been keeping track online. "Once a week I go and check and see what's happened," Mordoff said, "because you don't hear about it on the news all the time. They only talk about Connecticut people."
As of last week, Mordoff had added 30 flags to the lawn and added 30 names to the board high on the hill near the church door. "The number keeps going up," he said. Mordoff invites the public to walk onto the church's lawn, read names on the board or "honor the veterans in everybody's own way." There is a booklet that people can leave comments in: "War is Hell, peace is wonderful and beautiful," wrote Robert T. Kramer Sr. of Norwalk, who served during the occupation of Japan. "Thank you for this beautiful memorial to our fallen heroes," wrote Judy White of Norwalk.
Mordoff, owner of Pongo The Clown Party Talent , was performing in Northwestern Connecticut almost two years ago when he spotted the Field of Flags. "I was just very moved," he said, and when he got home he inquired about bringing the traveling exhibit to East Norwalk.
He arranged for volunteers to work in shifts to put it up on April 21, and got so many the work was done half an hour after they started. The subs he had gotten for lunch went instead to homeless people who stay in the church overnight as overflow from the Open Door Shelter.
The exhibit has been up a week longer than expected. Volunteers are needed to take it down Wednesday and Thursday. Workers will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday, removing the flags, wiping them with a damp cloth and bringing them into the church to dry. At 7 p.m. Thursday the work will continue, as volunteers count and bundle the flags, load them in bins and carry them to Mordoff's car. If you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Field of Flags" in subject line.
The exhibit will show in Danbury next.
Have you seen the Field of Flags at Christ Episcopal Church? How has it affected you?
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