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1,000 flags wave for veterans in Norfolk

By Deirdre Fernandes
Globe Staff / May 24, 2012
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A flag fund-raiser to support veterans ahead of Memorial Day has drawn an outpouring of support in the small community of Norfolk.

The Lions Club is displaying its Field of Flags at Town Hill, where 1,000 American flags have been placed in memory or support of veterans.

The club sold the flags for $10 each and has raised more than $12,000 for the Fisher House Boston, a place for military families to stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment at a Veterans Administration medical facility, said Don Hanssen, past president of the Norfolk Lions Club.

The local service club, with the help of high school students, mailed donation requests to the 4,600 households and businesses in Norfolk. Hanssen said he was “surprised and pleased” by the community’s response. More than 1,400 flags have been sold and residents are still approaching him to contribute, Hanssen said.

After the club sold all 1,000 flags it had purchased, the remaining contributions have been for “virtual” flags, he said. “The result was extraordinary,” Hanssen said.

The club has also placed a board in the library listing the names of donors and those whom the flags honored, Hanssen said.

Reading about the experiences and seeing the names of the veterans who are honored is emotional, he said.

“We were trying to complement the usual Memorial Day celebrations,” Hanssen said.

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