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September is Time to Order Field of Honor Flags

Bernards Township Beautification Task Force arranges second annual Field of Honor flag sale and ceremony.

September is the month to order a flag to decorate the lawn of the Bernards Township Municipal Building in downtown Basking Ridge for the second annual

The Bernards Township Beautification Committee is again organizing the display and will hold a dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. on Nov. 4, on the front lawn at the municipal building at 1 Collyer Lane. At that time, attendees may walk through the field to view the flags.

Laura Begg, who initiated the program, said that in asking around what people would like to see changed at the ceremony, which last year featured speeches, music and a gathering of community, the most common answer was, "Nothing."

Individuals and organizations may buy a limited number of the 3 feet by 5 feet American flags, which will be displayed on a 6-foot pole. Cost per flag is $30 and proceeds go to Community Hope of Parsippany, which has developed programs for homeless veterans at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in the Lyons section of Bernards Township, Begg said.

Begg said those who wish to fly a flag in a veterans' honor should purchase one now. "There are a limited number of flags available," she said, adding she must order the flags in bulk by October. Flags will be sold until they run out, or September 30, whichever comes first, Begg said.

On the first year, the display included 125 pre-purchased flags. On Sunday, Begg said she expects more will be ordered this year.

"Organizations this year decided to buy flags for veterans...or we have veterans who ordered flags for their organization," Begg said on Sunday. She said the Veterans of Foreign Wars post that is based in Bernardsville was among those veterans' groups that will be represented.

“The Beautification Task Force is once again looking forward to this event in the fall. There is something so moving about seeing the Town Hall lawn graced with American flags in honor of the veterans who have touched our lives,” Begg said in a news release about the event.

"The Field of Honor unites our community for a common good, and visually, the flags are a beautiful testament to our support for those who have served our country," she said.

She added on Sunday that many of the veterans honored with flags live in other states.

For two weeks in November, the front lawn of the municipal building again will become home to a field of American flags flying in precision formation, she said.

The event affords the greater Basking Ridge community an opportunity to honor a veteran they know, living or deceased, recognize any member of the armed forces, or support a homeless veteran through the purchase of a flag, the press release said.

Scott Spitzer, the Township Committee's liaison to the Beautification Task Force, said, "This is a wonderful way for our residents to honor and remember those who have served our country. I urge our residents to participate in this community initiative which will also enhance and beautify our Town Hall grounds." Spitzer and his wife last year purchased flags to honor their fathers.

Accompanying the flag will be a ribbon with a written dedication to the person being honored, according to the beautification task force.

Veterans and residents from the township and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend, Begg said. As of earlier this summer, she said that at least part of the ceremony would included an official dedication by Bernards Township Mayor Mary Pavlini, VFW color guard with presentation of the colors, military band, patriotic songs, and reception for officials and attendees.

The public is invited to purchase flags for the Field of Honor by printing one from www.bernards.org, or picking one up from the Town Hall at 1 Collyer Lane in Bernards Township. Begg urged those who want a flag to act promptly. "I wouldn't want to turn anyone away."

Those with questions or who wish to volunteer should contact Laura Begg via email at beautification@bernards.org, or by leaving information at the Town Hall c/o Beautification Task Force. Information regarding Community Hope may be found at the organization's website.  

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