Medford Sunrise Rotary introduces ‘Field of Honor’ event

The event will honor the people of Medford that have demonstrated “service above self”

By Melissa Riker

The Sun

At this week’s council meeting, Medford Sunrise Rotary Club Vice President Chris Forward discussed the launching of an inaugural event called “Field of Honor.”

The event will be focused on honoring the people of Medford who have demonstrated “service above self.”

“We’re inviting members of the public, if they would like to nominate somebody who has been a hero to them — such as perhaps a family member that served in the service in their country or a first responder or somebody who is continuing to serve today,” Forward said.

Forward invited the public to reach out to the Rotary Club with the name of their hero and why they are a hero. Each nominee will have a flag with a medallion dedicated to them hung in Freedom Park that they will be able to take home about a week after the event, after the flags are taken down.

Rebar will be driven into the soil, with the flagpoles placed over the rebar, that way the rebar can be removed at the end of the week, leaving no remaining pieces in Freedom Park.

The event will be held on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day and there will be a minimum of 200 full-sized American flags, measuring three feet by five feet, on eight-foot flag poles, arranged in meticulous rows.

Forward said multiple Rotary Clubs around the country have hosted similar events, giving an example of a club in Texas that had 150 dedicated flags in its first year and saw it grow to 1,800 flags in its sixth year.

“It’s hard to describe the moving feeling that one has when you show up with 1,800 flags just fluttering in the breeze and walk in between the flag poles and see all the medallions of all the people that are the heroes to those in the community,” Forward said. “That is what were hoping to do.”

Forward has met with Mayor Chuck Watson and the Monument Committee, and has been working with Township Manager Kathy Burger to discuss his plans for the event.

“I’m looking forward to seeing that in Freedom Park, and maybe in a few years we’ll have 1,800 flags out there as well,” Watson said. “[It’s a] great idea, and I personally thank Sunrise Rotary for doing this,” Watson said.

Forward said the club is open to suggestions from the public to make the event as meaningful as possible. Suggestions and nominations can be emailed to MedfordSunriseRotary@gmail.com. There is no current deadline in place at this time.

The next regular council meeting will be held on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building located at 91 Union St.