By Emily Brainard, Army Flyer StaffJuly 1, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A field of 430 small American flags will adorn a section of the Fort Rucker Andrews Avenue Festival Fields at this year's Freedom Fest July 3.
The new "Freedom isn't Free" display is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by Alabama and northwest Florida Soldiers and Families since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Beth Gunter, Survivor Outreach Services financial counselor.
"We wanted to provide a tribute to fallen Soldiers and honor our survivors," she said.
Gunter designed the display with Liz Legieza, SOS support coordinator. The pair said they wanted to find a fitting way to recognize and comfort grieving Families they work with on a daily basis through the survivors' program.
The women also created a banner to accompany the flags, which lists the names of all fallen armed forces members from Alabama and northwest Florida.
As part of the Freedom isn't Free tribute, military spouse Lisa Pratt will sing "Heaven Was Needing a Hero" at about 8:15 p.m. Freedom Fest participants will also observe a moment of silence around that time to honor the fallen.
"On holidays (like the Fourth of July), the focus is on picnics and games, but we have these holidays because people have given their lives. It's important they (are) not forgotten and they (are) appreciated," Gunter said.
She noted representatives will talk about SOS resources and share the story behind the field of flags throughout the 4 to 9:30 p.m. festival.