Braving the chilly wind, a few dozen residents, along with veterans, police, and firefighters, attended the first of what Newton hopes will be many Flags of Honor ceremonies. The celebration allowed family members and friends to sponsor a flag in the name of a veteran or service member to be displayed on the lawn of the municipal building. The money raised through the flag sponsorships will be donated to Community Hope, Inc., a non-profit group dedicated to helping homeless veterans find transitional and permanent housing solutions.
Town Manager Tom Russo said he’d seen Flags of Honor celebrated in other towns, and wanted to bring the concept home to Newton. Mayor Helen Le Frois and the council agreed, and on Saturday, Nov 9, 40 flags were dedicated. Le Frois spoke emotionally about being the daughter of a Vietnam veteran.
“When my dad came home, no one thanked him,” she said through tears, “We need to thank our veterans for their service. Buy them that cup of coffee. Shake their hand. Tell them we appreciate them.”
Le Frois said she hopes that they can grow this event every year, to continue to create a “visual expression of our gratitude.”
Each flag on the municipal building lawn bears a tab with the name of its honoree. To view the flags, visit the town hall at 39 Trinity St., Newton.