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Field of Honor a tribute to all veterans

Saturday morning's opening ceremonies for the second annual Field of Honor tribute presented by Hubbard Funeral Home and Charlestown Retirement Community featured speeches, a large crowd and an appearance by the Maryland National Guard Honor Guard.

The May 31 closing ceremony will feature a fireworks display.

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But there will be plenty of moments for quiet reflection on the service of America's veterans during the week as 1,000 U.S. flags remain on display on the 5-acre field near the retirement community's Maiden Choice Lane entrance.

Hours after the ceremony that morning, there was still a small, but steady stream of visitors to see a flag they had purchased to honor the service of a friend or family member.

The 3- by 5-foot flags cost $35. Proceeds go to the Maryland-based Operation Second Chance that helps hospitalized veterans and their families, and Charlestown's Benevolent Care Fund.

Many of the flags purchased were by veterans, spouses of veterans or friends of veterans who had served in World War II, of which there are a number at Charlestown, according to Dan Simons, managing partner of Hubbard Funeral Home on Wilkens Avenue, less than a mile from Charlestown.

"We don't hear much at all about Korean [War] vets. And Vietnam [War veterans], because of the public backlash in America that they came home to. Today, they're finally getting a little more vocal about their service to this country," said Simons, who coordinated two projects related to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial while he worked in New York.

But a slow stroll through the rows and rows of flags revealed that those of "The Greatest Generation" were not the only ones remembered this weekend.

Many of the tags on the flagpoles said simply, "For All American servicemen and servicewomen."

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