QUINCY — The Exchange Club of Quincy was out Friday at the former St. Mary’s Hospital property setting up their Field of Honor that will be in place through Monday afternoon.
The Field of Honor featured 1,000 American flags and is displayed as a tribute to veterans across the country.
“We have about 50 people out to help us today,” club member Art Awerkamp said. “It makes the work go faster when we have a good turn-out.”
The Exchange Club members had a catered lunch on the parking lot across from the field before heading across to drive stakes in pre-plotted locations around the two-block space.
“These are the same flags that we offer for the community,” Awerkamp said. “People can register for $30 and we’ll come out four times a year — Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day — and display them in the yards.”
The Field of Honor is available at no cost to visit and walk through. Exchange Club members will be on-site from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. over the weekend to answer questions about the field and about the Exchange Club itself, as well as accepting donations.
“The money we raise through these programs goes to support other things we do,” Awerkamp said. “Things like the Freedom Galleries we set up in different places.”
The Freedom Galleries are collections of important historical documents that are displayed in various locations including schools.
On Saturday, the display at the Field will be expanded with a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While the Tomb is located at Arlington National Cemetery, this replica is coming to Quincy from the Americanism Committee of the Exchange Club of Rome, Ga. Phillip Burkhalter Builders of Rome constructed and hand-crafted this replica outside of business hours. It’s the hope of the Exchange Clubs of Quincy and Rome as well as the National Exchange Club that this replica can bring the same tribute to those who gave their lives in battle, and especially those that are unknown, as the original in Virginia.
One thing Awerkamp noted is that best way to visit the Field of Honor is to come up on Vermont Street.
“We know people want to see it, but we don’t like hearing the screech of brakes on Broadway,” he said. “Vermont has plenty of parking, or less traffic if people just want slow down and look.”
The Field of Honor will be on display until Monday afternoon. Awerkamp said volunteers, including students from QND, will start removing the flags around 2:30 p.m. Monday.