BOSTON (CBS) – There was a surprise tribute on Boston Common this Memorial Day. Volunteers worked through the night to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
What you see Monday morning is a scaled-down version of what's become a custom on Boston Common each Memorial Day for the last decade. Roughly 1,000 socially distant flags were planted six feet apart from each other to honor fallen heroes of Massachusetts who've made the ultimate sacrifice since the Revolutionary War.
Under normal circumstances, there would be more than 37,000 garden flags in place by now.
"We couldn't do it this year for health reasons. We didn't feel like we could do it safely with the number of volunteers and we normally plant on Wednesday into Thursday and here we are on Memorial Day just for one day," said Tom Crohan of the Massachusets Military Heroes Fund. "What we're doing today and what we have done for the last ten years is really calling this sacred ground. It is intended to honor and remember and pay tribute to our local fallen heroes."
Organizers with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund initially canceled the effort two weeks ago because of the coronavirus pandemic, then ultimately went with the small fraction to limit the number of volunteers and on-lookers involved.
Now they're asking you to help make up the difference at home by printing out your own flag and putting it on display using the hashtag #HeroesFlagGarden on social media.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued remarks during a wreath-laying ceremony Monday morning. A moment of silence was held as well.
"This is one of the most powerful ways that we as a Commonwealth can say thank you," Baker said. "The most important thing I think we should take from that is that they stood up for us, they stood up for one another and it's critically important, especially in these times of high anxiety, and believe me I hear it every day that we all remember that we stand up for each other."
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