Citizens for Milford is continuing its partnership with the Milford Corps of the Salvation Army to expand the Draper Memorial Park Field of Flags, a tribute acknowledging the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military personnel with a display of American flags placed in Draper Memorial Park on five patriotic holidays each year. The first display of this year is planned for May 20 in time for Memorial Day.
All area citizens, organizations, and businesses are invited to sponsor a 3′ x 5′ American flag to fly on a 10′ staff in Draper Memorial Park for a $60 donation. Previous sponsors are encouraged to renew their flag sponsorship for another year. Although renewals have been requested before Veterans Day during previous years, Citizens for Milford has restructured the sponsorship period to coincide with the calendar year.
The $60 donation sponsors a flag in Draper Park for all five of the following patriotic holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.
Sponsors can choose to honor a veteran (alive or deceased), an active member of the military, or all our nation’s veterans.
Each flag includes a yellow ribbon with an attached card naming the person being honored, the honoree’s military branch and years of service, and the sponsor’s name. Sponsors can personalize each flag by providing a photo if desired. Citizens for Milford laminates the name cards and photos so they can be attached to each flagpole. The laminated cards and photos are typically attached the day after the flags are installed in the ground.
Field of Flags Chairperson Peter Scandone says, “Each flag honors the heroism of our many local veterans and active duty service members. Our goal is to have every one of the flags renewed and to gather enough new flag sponsorships so that we will be installing even more flags this Memorial Day.”
Flag sponsors Stephanie Fino and Stephen Laczenski state, “We are so proud to visit the Draper Park Field of Flags that are displayed during patriotic holidays throughout the year. It is comforting to see our Dad next to all the veterans of all the wars who fought so bravely for our country to secure the freedoms that we enjoy today.”
To sponsor a flag for the Draper Memorial Park Field of Flags project, click here to download and print the sponsorship form, then complete the form and mail it to the address provided on the form with a $60 check made out to the Salvation Army before May 11. If you prefer to have a form mailed to you, email us at CitizensforMilford@gmail.com.
Citizens for Milford and the Salvation Army organize all the work involved in managing the Field of Flags, including everything from maintaining sponsorship information to transporting and storing the flags. Both groups are extremely grateful for the assistance provided by volunteers from other Milford groups. Volunteers from Milford Federal Bank and the Milford Junior Woman’s Club, as well as many flag sponsors, often assist with the installation and take-down of the flags. All residents are welcome to help.
The majority of funds donated by flag sponsors are used to support the work of the Salvation Army here in Milford, specifically for food assistance and after-school activities for families in need. Citizens for Milford receives a small amount to pay for supplies, such as the yellow ribbons, card stock, and laminating materials. Like the flags, these materials need to be replaced periodically due to weather exposure.
Draper Memorial Park occupies a triangle of land in the downtown Milford area, located at the intersection of Congress Street and Main Street. The park features monuments that list the names of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Standing tall in the park is the statue of General William Franklin Draper by sculptor Daniel Chester French, whose work also includes the massive marble statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The care and management of Draper Memorial Park falls under the authority of the Milford Parks Commission and Milford Veterans Services. Citizens for Milford is grateful for both office’s enthusiastic support for this project.