By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – The final flags in a spectacular tribute were planted Thursday on Boston Common.

Volunteers with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund worked in shifts for nearly two days to place more than 37,000 American flags near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument off Tremont Street.

Each flag represents a Massachusetts service member who has given their life defending the country since the Revolutionary War.

The final flags honoring the heroes who have fallen since September 11, 2001 were planted during a small ceremony with Governor Charlie Baker Thursday morning.

“It’s the sacrifices and the generosity of spirit and the courage of those who serve and their families who make it possible for our democracy to continue to operate,” Baker told the audience.

“We hope this is a sight of reflection that it may offer our most recently bereaved families peace,” said Steve Kerrigan of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.

“We welcome others to be able to, at some point along the way, over the next few days witness this, remember, honor and make sure that they never forget what those who served our country have sacrificed so much,” said Michael Allard, Chief Operating Officer of Home Base, a program that provides clinical care support to veterans, service members and their families.

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund has organized the flag plantings in the week leading up to Memorial Day every year since 2010. Last year, it was limited to about 1,000 flags spaced six feet apart due to social distancing for the pandemic.

The flags will be on full display until next Tuesday. For more information, visit Staff