BOSTON (CBS) – An American flag for every fallen hero in the state of Massachusetts – 33,000 since the Civil War – now sits on Boston Common.

The display for Memorial Day weekend was the highlight of a ceremony Thursday morning to honor the 170 military members from Massachusetts killed since Sept. 11, 2001.

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Army Spec. Stephen Fortunato of Beverly was one of them. He died in 2008.

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“He went in as a boy and came out as a man. The Army completely changed him. He died doing what he wanted to do.” his widow Sherri told WBZ-TV.

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The event is sponsored by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund. Their volunteers planted the flags and will guard them throughout the weekend.