‘Field of Flags’ honors lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan

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A “Field of Flags” was placed on the lawn of a high school in New Jersey to honor U.S. military members who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Students placed 6,952 American flags on the lawn of Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin this week, ahead of Memorial Day.

“I don’t know too many other places that do this,” said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Potts. “The community is behind this, the staff.”

The tradition was started eight years ago by now-retired Southern Regional English teacher Marilyn Dougherty as a way to honor those whose lives were lost.

VIDEO: Flags placed on school lawn to honor U.S. military

“There’s so many people that suffer so the days that we’re celebrating, they’re suffering’ said current English teacher Jean Piscopo.

High school and middle school students took part in the project Thursday.

“For the most part, Southern is like a big family and so when we come out here, everybody feels the same emotions,’ said student Sierra Madison. “I guess we all just know that this is a very important thing."

“For the students to understand that Memorial Day was more than a day off. It has a deeper meaning. Lives are lost to give them that day off and to hopefully make them appreciate the freedom that they have,” Piscopo said.

One military member honored is Kareem Khan, who graduated from Southern Regional in 2005. He died in Iraq in 2007. He was just 20 years old.

“We have one family that comes back every year, the Kahn family, and Kareem was my student and I was his English teacher, and he was killed,” Piscopo said.

The flags will be watched and cared for throughout the Memorial Day weekend by several people, often a veteran.

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