Author - CFF

Colonial Flag Foundation Programs Attract Great People

Tom Wigmore

Cohasset, Massachusetts Citizen of the Year Tom Wigmore adjusts flags for a Memorial Day Display.

Since Healing Field® and Field of Honor® events encompass massive displays of the Stars and Stripes, the casual observer may conclude that whether in California or New York—the events are pretty much the same. Actually, each event bears the unique stamp of the local host community. Nevertheless, there are many parallels that become obvious for those lucky enough who visit several of these amazing flag displays. One thing that stands out to those of us, working at the Foundation’s national office, is that our program attracts amazing people who serve as local organizers. Our efforts coordinating flag displays all over our nation, gives us the opportunity to build fast friendships with some outstanding individuals.

It takes someone really special to stand out among this exceptional group of community leaders, and Thomas Wigmore of Cohasset, Massachusetts fills that bill to overflowing. For decades Tom has working quietly behind the scenes to honor veterans during Cohasset’s Memorial Day Activities. Appreciation for our veterans often grows from personal service in the military, but in Tom’s case his demonstrated appreciation stems from his father’s military service. Tom is Commander of the Cohasset Chapter of the Sons of the American Legion. Steve Wigmore, Tom’s father, is the Commander of the town’s George H. Mealy American Legion Post. Also, Deirdre Wigmore, Tom’s wife heads up the Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary. So honoring and serving area veterans is for the Wigmores a family matter.

Tom has headed the Cohasset’s Field of Honor® flag display on Memorial Day for nine straight years, and this alone is a huge undertaking. Each year Tom has rounded up sponsors to make the inspirational display possible and organized volunteers to assemble and post the flags.

However, as impressive and memorable as a Field of Honor® display is, Tom’s dedication to honoring veteran’s on Memorial Day runs wider and deeper. Tom has admitted that he has been helping his father with Memorial Day observances “since [he] was a little kid.” Certainly he has contributed his talents and energy to Cohasset Memorial Day observances for decades. With Tom’s support, Memorial Day activities in town have grown from a simple parade to a weeklong schedule of events. The event grows bigger and better with each succeeding year. “Instead of one day,” Tom explained, “they get a whole week—that’s how it should be.” A majestic formation of the Stars and Stripes has become an essential part of Cohasset’s Memorial Day tradition, and Tom has played a central role in bringing area residents together for the Field of Honor® display and the myriad of activities that surround it. As one city resident noted, “Simply put, without Tom Wigmore there would be no Healing Field®.”

In recognition of his decade’s long service to the community, Tom Wigmore has been selected as Cohasset’s Citizen of the Year. This acknowledgement would be appropriate if awarded during any one of many past years, but it is especially fitting this year. While yet a young man of fifty-one, Tom has be diagnosed as suffering from Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. So, just as he has for so many years and in so many ways honored the service of others, it is now time to honor Tom Wigmore for his exceptional service. The Colonial Flag Foundation proudly joins with Tom’s multitude of friends and admirers in praising his selfless service and wishing him and Deirdre, his devoted wife, our best hopes and wishes as they battle this dreaded disease.

Mt Juliet Sponsors 2015

Sponsorship Levels

Division Level – $5000 (75 Flag Kits)

  • Middle Tenn. Electric Customer Care

Regimental Level – $2,500 (50 Flag Kits)

 

Company Level – $500 (10 Flag Kits)

  • JDC Coatings, Inc.
  • American Legion Tyler Cates Post 281
  • Exchange Club of West Wilson County

Platoon Level – $300 (5 Flag Kits)

  • Wilson Bank & Trust

In-Kind

  • CMC Rebar
  • Barry & Nancy Britt
  • Margaret Dixon/Crye-Leike Realtors, Inc.
  • Monica Doll/Crye-Leike Realtors, Inc.
  • City of Mt. Juliet
  • Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

Three Touching Stories from Colonial Flag Foundation Events

Cathedral City  flags

Display of Flags at Cathedral City’s Healing Field® event.

A Soldier Remembered by a Community Far From His Home

Sometimes events blend together perfectly in unexpected ways.  Kathy DeRosa, the mayor of Cathedral City in California’s Riverside County, was touched by events she observed at one of her community’s annual Healing Field® flag displays.

A vacationing couple from out of state drove their motor home down the roadway adjacent to Cathedral City’s Healing Field® flag display and pulled into the parking lot to take a closer look.  They had never visited Cathedral City before and wanted to know why there were thousands of flags posted in the park.  Volunteers from the local Rotary Club explained that each flag displayed honored a soldier killed defending our nation in the Afghanistan or Iraq.  As they talked, they made their way to the stage where names of killed service men and women were being read.

Just as the couple arrived in front of the stage, they heard—at that very moment—their son’s name read.  Mayor DeRosa noted that this was an experience that no one could ever forget, and it was certainly an emotional experience for those parents.  Upon hearing the couple’s story, the volunteers led the couple to the flag posted in honor of their son, and then presented the flag to a mother and father grateful that their son’s sacrifice had been remembered in a community far distant from their home.

It is often said that every flag displayed at a Colonial Flag Foundation event has a story.  This is but the story of one flag that touched the lives of those who became a part of the story.   A posted flag not only honors an individual, but like the concentric rings formed by a pebble thrown into a still pond, they  spread out to touch family, friends so many others.  As Mayor DeRosa described it so aptly, it can become an experience that no one could ever forget.

Tracy Reading Names 2

Reading the names of those killed defending freedom.

Honoring a Local Soldier Killed Defending Freedom

A Field of Honor® Flag Display does not take place in a vacuum.  Honoring our military killed in the past sometimes collides with the present.  Rotary Club members in Murrieta, California found that out while assembling flags for their annual Field of Honor® event.

When we remember our military men and women killed in World War II, Korea or Vietnam, these are wars of our nation’s history.  The number of our war dead killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is yet growing.  We search to cap a threat that is very real and still presents a serious threat to freedom.

As volunteers at Murrieta’s Town Square Park fixed flags to their white plastic staffs, they were aware that the son of a local family had died serving his country on foreign soil.  As they worked assembled the flags, news arrived that a cortege carrying the casket of the young soldier would soon travel down the street next to the park.  The volunteers grabbed assembled flags and lined both sides of the street before the procession arrived.  The soldier’s family, riding in a car behind the hearse, was comforted to see that their soldier was remembered and honored by their community.  After the solemn motorcade passed, the flags hurriedly moved to the street, were returned to the park and posted as part of the Field of Honor® display.

The next morning as Frank walked through the posted flags, he saw a group surrounding the flag posted to honor the soldier so recently killed.  “It must be friends of the young man,” he thought to himself.  “Certainly the family would not be able to visit he Field of Honor® flags so soon after their son’s body’s return.  He walked over to the posted flag and found the soldier’s parents and close family surround the soldier’s flag.  Frank, was honored that he on behalf of his Rotary Club’s members and Murrieta’s residents, could thank this grieving family for their son’s sacrifice.  This experience was for those present, the core of healing.

 

Cell phone foto Murrieta

A picture a a mother and her children sent to her soldier husband went viral on the internet.

The Impact of a Simple Picture

Frank Donahue, the Co-Chair of Murrieta’s Field of Honor has many memories of his community’s annual event.   One memory sticks out prominently.  Talking with visitors to the field of flags, he encountered a mother visiting the display with her young daughter.  They mentioned that they would like a picture to record their visit, and Frank remembered that he has a cellular phone with a camera.  An early example of this type of phone, Frank worried that the camera would not produce a good a photo as his expensive camera.  Nevertheless, the woman and her daughter posed in front of a grouping of flags and Frank to the picture.

The composition and lighting were just right and Frank proudly offered to email his photo to the woman.   “Could you send it to my husband in Afghanistan,” the woman asked.  Not having known that the woman’s husband was deployed in a war zone, Frank was surprised but readily agreed.  He entered the serviceman’s email address and pressed the send button.  Mother and daughter thanked him and left for home.

Frank was certain that the photograph would be very meaningful to their deployed husband and father; still he was not prepared for the emotion he experienced when the two reappeared a couple of hours later.  They showed Frank that his picture had been posted on a myriad of sites by a proud father.  Frank’s cell phone photo had gone viral.  The simple photograph of a mother and her daughter posed in front of a grouping of U.S. flags had a greater global impact than Frank could have imagined when he released the shutter on his cell phone camera.

SHW Test

September 20, 2012


The Boys & Girls Club of Lac Courte Oreilles will host the Hayward, Wisconsin – Lac Courte Oreilles Healing Field flag display this summer with a massive display of U.S. Flags and Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Flags at the corner of Highways B & K. The three-by-five foot flags posted in ordered lines on eight-foot white poles will be an awe-inspiring honorary display to pay tribute to the strength of our community while we continue to find common ground.
Please join us and visit this stirring memorial. This is the perfect opportunity for us to come together as a community.

Support your
local Field, Sponsor
it, Own it — Take it
home and continue
the tribute!
Sponsor a US flag &
pick up your flag.
$35
Have your US flag shipped
to your home.
$40
Support your
field through
donations.
In Honor of:

In Honor of:


Support your
local Field, Sponsor
it, Own it — Take it
home and continue
the tribute!
Sponsor a LCO Tribal flag &
pick up your flag.
$35
Ship your LCO Tribal flag
to your home.
$40
Support your
field through
donations.
In Honor of:

In Honor of:


Event Schedule:
Thursday, September 20, 2012, 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

If you are interested in being part of our Organizing Committee to assist with various sub-committees of Fundraising, Public Relations, Programming for Closing Ceremonies and other important planning and strategizing, please email Kim Lambert at truancyprevention@gmail.com.

Benefiting Charities:
Boys & Girls Club of Lac Courte Oreilles:
Hosted By:
Boys & Girls Club of Lac Courte Oreilles:
Local Organizing Committee:
Kim Lambert – Project Chair
Karen Rougeau – Co-Chair
Don Semler – Committee Member
Linda Graham – Committee Member
Gary Gerber – Committee Member
Craig Olson – Committee Member
Ken Maki – Committee Member
Sally Gagan – Committee Member
Sponsor Programs:
Coming soon.
Thanks To Our Sponsors:
Beehive Botanicals:
Chippewa Valley Bank:
In The News:

Utah Healing Field® 2014

September 10-17 2014

Sandy_Healing_Field


Join us in this annual tradition!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Field Set Up: Sept 9th – 5:30 pm at Sandy City Parkway (Field Site)
Field Take Down: Sept 18th – 5:30 pm at Sandy City Parkway (Field Site)

CONTACT: MELISSA 801-602-4383 melissa@therealdealgroup.com



South of Sandy City Hall at 10000 South Centennial Parkway Sandy City, Utah

It all began thirteen years ago in Utah, and in 2014 the tradition continues. Over the years the original Healing Field® flag display memorial has spread to communities in forty-five states and the District of Columbia, and each year an annual Utah Healing Field has lead the way. Again this year Homes for Heroes® joins forces with Colonial Flag Foundation to present Utah’s 13th Annual Healing Field flag display to honor and remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Each flag representing a life lost in horrific attacks that America and the world must never forget.

Homes for Heroes stepped forward to Host this year’s event that promises to draw residents from Wasatch Front communities together as adults remember and children learn. A community minded program to make home ownership more affordable for our military, police, firefighters and educators—Homes for Heroes is a perfect partner to join with Colonial Flag Foundation now and in the future.


Join with us by becoming a corporate sponsor or by sponsoring a flag to be flown in the display. There is no charge to visit the Utah Healing Field; come and bring your family and friends to enjoy this inspiring experience.




Benefiting Charities:
Homes for Heroes
Hosted By:
Homes for Heroes
Local Organizing Committee:

photo credit: Sawn Swenson

photo credit: Sawn Swenson

HUNTINGTON, WV | Healing Field | 2012

September 7-11, 2012


Spring Hill Cemetery will host Huntington’s 2nd Annual Healing Field® 9/11 flag memorial this September. Three thousand full sized United States flags will fly on eight foot poles in perfect rows. This living display of heroism, which will symbolize a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans.
Flags will be posted from the 7th to the 11th of September at the cemetery located at 1427 Norway Avenue in Huntington. The Daughters of the American Revolution are coordinating individual flag sponsorship locally. Flags may also be sponsored below online.

Please join us and walk this awe inspiring display of flags. This is the perfect opportunity for all of us to unite as a community to remember and honor those who died in this tragic event.


Event Schedule:
The Healing Field Display will take place from September 7 to 13, 2012.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Benefiting Charities:
Foundation for the Tri-State Community
Spring Hill Memorial Bell Tower
Hosted By:
Local Organizing Committee:
Phil Niebergall
Jane Sawyers
Suzanne Brady
Tracey Knight
Scott Miller
Sponsor Programs:
Coming soon.
Thanks To Our Sponsors:
Coming soon.
In The News:

CARPENTERSVILLE, IL | Field of Honor | 2012

September 7-9, 2012 – Carpenter Park (122 Carpenter Blvd.)


The True Patriots Care Foundation is proud to host the 2012 Field of Honor® flag memorial displaying hundreds of flags honoring the first responders killed on 9-11 and the Illinois fallen soldiers since 9-11.
These 3′X5′ flags will stand 8′ tall in perfect rows. This living display of heroism will fly as a temporary patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans.

Please join us and walk this awe inspiring display of flags. This is the perfect opportunity for all of us to unite as a community to remember and honor those who died in this tragic event.


Support your
local Field, Sponsor
it, Own it — Take it
home and continue
the tribute!
Sponsor a flag &
pick up your flag.
$40
Have your flag shipped
to your home.
$46
Support your
field through
donations.
In Honor of:

In Honor of:


Send your sponsored flag to a deployed or wounded soldier, with a photo and a personal message from our Field of Honor flag display through the Operation Thank You Program.
Your flag will be sent to a service man or woman currently serving in harm’s way or recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital or Belvoir Hospital.

Operation
Thank You
$46
In Honor of:


Event Schedule:
CLICK HERE for more information.

Benefiting Charities:
True Patriots care Foundation
Boys & Girls Club of Dundee Township
Hosted By:
True Patriots Care Foundation
Local Organizing Committee:
Project Chair:
Jerry Christopherson
Program Co-Chair:
John Schuldt – Carpentersville Fire Chief
Diane Minger – School District 300
Fundraiser Chair:
Karen Roeckner School District 300
Marketing Co-Chair:
Patricia Szpekowsk – PMS Advertising
Debbie Wodrich – GH Development
Parade Chair:
John Skillman – Deputy Fire Chief Carpentersville
Field Set up:
Ray Reusch Village of Cary
Site Security:
Mark Christopherson – Property Werks
Information Booth Co – Chair:
Linda Christopherson – National Technology
Mary Henk – School District U-46
Sponsor Programs:
Coming Soon.
Thanks To Our Sponsors:
OTTO Engineering:
Revcor
Village of Carpentersville
Dundee Township Park District
In The News:

TEMPE, AZ | Healing Field | 2012

September 9-11, 2012 – Tempe Beach Park (Mill Ave. & Rio Salado Parkway)


The Exchange Club of Tempe and the city of Tempe will team up once again to host the 9th Annual Healing Field display which posts three thousand U.S. flags in the Tempe Beach Park located at Mill Avenue & Rio Salado Parkway. These 3′X5′ flags will stand 8′ tall in perfect rows in an awe-inspiring display and tribute to those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Please join us and walk amidst these flags. This is the perfect opportunity to unite as a community as we remember and honor those who died in this tragic event.

Support your
local Field, Sponsor
it, Own it — Take it
home and continue
the tribute!
Sponsor a flag &
pick up your flag.
$40
Have your flag shipped
to your home.
$45
Support your
field through
donations.
In Honor of:

In Honor of:




Event Schedule:

Benefiting Charities:
Exchange Club of Tempe Programs
Hosted By:
Exchange Club of Tempe & the city of Tempe
Local Organizing Committee:
Bonita Gibson
Mark Poisson
Ann Dewilde
Ian Katzman
Doug Royse
Edwin Harvey
Carol Mertins
Sponsor Programs:
Coming soon.
Thanks To Our Sponsors:
City of Tempe
In The News:
Coming soon.