After several hours of setting up the display Friday, the front lawn of the has become the newest temporary home for the Field of Flags.
The church's lawn now bears 6,076 individual flags, each one in honor of an individual member of the United States military who died while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. The display will continue at the church until July 10.
A dedication ceremony for the field took place Saturday morning at First Congregational. During the ceremony, the names of the 33 Connecticut residents who have been killed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as the 17 service members from Connecticut who have been killed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, were read aloud.
One of the names listed on the state's casualty list is North Granby resident . Emmons, 22, was the driver on a mounted patrol in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade on May 31. He died later at a military hospital from shrapnel wounds sustained in the attack.
A will be held Monday, June 20, at Granby Memorial High School, 315 Salmon Brook St., beginning at 6 p.m.
The Field of Flags first originated at the Somers Congregational Church, when the congregation's Memorial Garden Committee placed 2,231 flags on church grounds in October 2005. Since then, it has transformed into a national event, with churches all across the country hosting the display.
In addition to the flags, the display also includes a board that reports a state-by-state list of American casualties, including the fallen service members' name and rank. The list is continuously updated to reflect current casualty counts.
Several local community organizations volunteered to assist with erecting the display and the dedication, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Marquis of Granby, Lost Acres Fire Department, the American Legion and First Congregational members.
Also, the Granby-based chapter of UNICO — an Italian-American service organization — stepped forward to donate funding for flood lighting to allow the flags to be illuminated at night.