For the 11th consecutive year, Sparklight associates volunteered to help install a display of nearly 3,000 American flags for the annual Prescott Valley Healing Field that commemorates the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Each flagpole contains information about an individual whose life was lost in the attacks, with additional items added to share more about their lives, such as teddy bears for children or boots placed for firefighters, police and military personnel. Visitors who look closely at some of the boots might spot coins placed in the tradition of visiting a military gravesite – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters each carrying a unique meaning.
“Our associates volunteer in a variety of community activities throughout the year, but the Healing Field holds a special meaning for us,” said Sparklight’s Prescott General Manager Dennis Edwards. “The opportunity to be involved in creating such a visual, tangible and moving reminder of the lives lost on 9/11 is an emotional and humbling experience.”
Mike Heddens, Technical Operations Manager, and Lou Westall, Headend Technician, are among the Sparklight associates who have helped install the flags each year.
Heddens vividly recalls watching the events of 9/11 unfold live on television.
“This tragedy impacted every American in an extremely devastating way. My heart and prayers remain with the lost souls and families that were impacted,” Heddens said. “To see the field of flags that represent each of the souls lost on that day with cards attached to them so that you can learn of the person that was taken on that day really hits you deep.”
Westall shared similar sentiments.
“When the display is up and complete and everything is as it should be, I feel that I live in the greatest country on the planet, and I think of the wonderful community I reside in. I feel great pride for what we do as a community for this display, for the volunteers from all over the state of Arizona and the rest of the country that come to help,” Westall said. “When one looks out across that field of flags, it’s extremely hard not to shed a tear or say a prayer when you see the boots and Teddy Bears that represent fire fighters, police, military and children. What a senseless loss of life.”
The Healing Field is open to the public through Friday, Sept. 15, at Civic Center Lawn located at 7501 E. Skoog Blvd. in Prescott Valley. A Blessing of the Field will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 and a 9/11 Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Monday. Learn more at www.healingfieldpv.com.