For the second year, rows of American flags will line Park Square in recognition of veterans from Oct. 24 through Nov. 22.
An opening ceremony for the Kiwanis Park of Honor will be held noon-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. The project is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield, and is a tribute to those who have served or are currently serving. Each 3 foot by 5 foot flag will be tied with a yellow ribbon and will either represent a veteran or be dedicated to a group of veterans who served in one of the United States Armed Forces.
The fees include $30 per flag; $100 for four flags; and $500 for up to 10 flags, one on-site signage, and inclusion in promotional material. The deadline to purchase a flag is Oct. 10. Funds collected from the sale of flags will go toward college scholarships to children or grandchildren of veterans.
“Our veterans have made, and continue to make, tremendous sacrifices and contributions for our freedom and liberty. The Kiwanis Park of Honor is a poignant way to show our gratitude and offer thanks to our veterans for their selfless service to this great country,” said Mayor Daniel Bianchi.
Kiwanis President Cheryl Tripp-Cleveland agrees and says there was a profound show of support for the inaugural Park of Honor last year.
“It was amazing. Without a doubt, this initiative brought our veterans’ service to the forefront. It was a small way that people could honor their family and friends,” said Tripp-Cleveland. Last year, the Kiwanis exceeded their projections, selling 523 flags, and had $12,000 – after expenses – to put toward scholarships.
Tripp-Cleveland also noted the community’s respect for the flags themselves.
“One thing I found touching was that not one of the flag were desecrated in any shape or form. No one messed with those flags. I think that speaks to the character of most of the people in our community,” she said.
The flags will be installed in the park at 7 a.m. on Oct. 24. All those who wish to help with the flag installation are welcome; volunteers on hand include Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lucier, who will be bringing some of his recruits to assist.
“It was incredible the amount of people who came up to help,” said Tripp-Cleveland, noting members of the Pittsfield High School Swim Team and Vietnam veterans who offered assistance. “It’s a real community effort.”
Individuals, families, and companies seeking to sponsor a flag can do so by calling Tripp-Cleveland at 413.242.2663 or via email at Cheryl@bcn.net. Applications are also available in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.