Members of the MGH Military Veteran Partners (MVP) joined 700 volunteers May 23 on a sun-filled Boston Common to help plant thousands of flags honoring the sacrifices of fallen soldiers.

“These flags are a recognition of those who have fallen before us, a recognition of our community standing together,” said Francisco Ureña, secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, who spoke during a brief ceremony before the flag planting began. “Most importantly, it serves as a recognition for those who have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day. Let us all live our lives worthy of their sacrifice.”

Organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, the Boston Common Memorial Day Flag Garden is planted annually – solely by volunteers – in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Each flag represents a Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending the country since the Revolutionary War. There are 37,268 flags.

“Today’s flag planting meant a lot to me,” says Cheryl Brown, of Human Resources and MVP member. “It was great to see so many people coming together, taking time out of their busy lives to remember the sacrifice of the comparatively few who died to protect liberty for all. Memorial Day serves as a sacred time to reflect and remind ourselves to be grateful.”

The Flag Garden will remain up through the evening of Memoria lDay to honor and remember the fallen soldiers and pay tribute to their families.

“It is an honor to participate in the Flag Garden, but let us remember that it is the brave men and women who these flags represent and who we owe thanks for the freedoms that allow us to be here today,” says Christine Cugini, MGH Development coordinator and MVP co-president. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else today.” 

From the MGH Archives: Memorial plaque

This bronze plaque is dedicated to the memory of seven MGH nurses who gave their lives in service of their country in World War I.

In Memory Of
Frances E. Bartlett
Mary F. Emery
Lucy N. Fletcher
Jessie Brown Jaggard
Constance M. Sinclair
Anna E. West

Graduates of the Massachusetts General Hospital School for Nurses

They gave their lives in the service of their country in the Great War.

Dedicated September 10, 1920