Watch CBS News

Volunteers Plant 37,000 Flags On Boston Common To Honor Mass. Military Heroes

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston Common has been transformed into a garden of red, white, and blue to honor Massachusetts' military heroes for Memorial Day.

Dozens of volunteers Wednesday planted 37,000 flags in the ground by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, representing the men and women from the Bay State who made the ultimate sacrifice since the Revolutionary War. The annual tradition is organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.

Boston Common memorial day flags
David Ouellette and his four-year old daughter, Sloane. His brother, Brian, a Navy seal, was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. (Photo credit: Carl Stevens - WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

"It's a pretty remarkable place to be on Memorial Day," Carlos Arredondo told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz as he planted flags on the Common.

Arredondo, who helped rescue Jeff Bauman in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, wore pictures of his two sons as he worked. One son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, was killed in Iraq in 2004. His other son, Brian, who was troubled by his brother's loss, committed suicide seven years later.

"I'm here putting flags, not just to honor my son, but many other sons and daughters," Arredondo said, adding that there's a family behind each flag.

Volunteer Geoffrey Spalding of Gloucester said his father and grandfather had fought in World War I and World War II.

"We're all so very fortunate for their sacrifice," said Spalding. "As you're putting in flags, you don't even really realize, and then you turn around 20 minutes later and look over your shoulder, and it's exploded with all the red, white, and blue."

Despite the heat, 12-year-old Lane Lowry kept on pounding flags into the ground. When asked how he felt each time he finished a flag, he said, "Proud of everyone's hard work to protect their country."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.