MANSFIELD (CBS) — To some people it may just look like a field of flags with no thought given to who put them there or what they signify, but not for Jeri Rumsis.
“It’s a person. It’s a person who had a life. It’s a person that meant something a lot to a family,” she said.
Rumsis is the chair of a committee that sets up the Mansfield Field of Honor to recognize the brave actions of veterans and first-responders.
“This year we added a banner that said Mansfield is America Strong,” she said.
For the last six years, 3 by 5 ft. flags have been put out in the field just in time for Memorial Day. But the typical army of helpers couldn’t pitch in because of the pandemic.
“The community, the boy scouts, the girl scouts, they all come in and help us assemble the flags,” Rumsis said.
This year, it was a smaller team. They used masks and social distancing to make the same profound statement.
“You see people in there walking through, reading the names on the flags and taking pictures with their children,” Rumsis said.
Sponsors pay for the majority of the flags, with funds also going to help veterans and community programs. After the flags were planted, there was no ceremony or banquet, but Rumsis said this symbol of courage is needed now more than ever.
“People are feeling shaky right now with the economy and out of work,” she said. “I think they’re feeling pretty insecure and they needed this.”