Huge display of flags brings order and remembrance of a chaotic event

  • A large star is painted on the grass at the intersection of quadrants of American Flags as people walk through the Healing Field of Flags at the Polo Soccer Fields in Oak Brook on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

    A large star is painted on the grass at the intersection of quadrants of American Flags as people walk through the Healing Field of Flags at the Polo Soccer Fields in Oak Brook on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

  • John Starks

    John Starks

 
 
Updated 10/31/2021 12:38 PM

For the last 20 years, since the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, citizens have found unity and pride when visiting a Healing Field of Flags that can be found in many communities.

I've photographed several of those locations. This year, my assignment was to photograph the Healing Field of Flags display at the Polo Soccer Fields in Oak Brook using a remote overhead drone.

 

The chaos, fear and uncertainty felt on that day 20 years ago was not evident in this display. Instead, I was struck by the uniform lines of the 2,976 flagpoles, and the quiet respect of the visitors who walked among them.

The flags were split into quadrants that met at a large star painted on the grass. Each flag had an attached card with the name and personal story of a victim of the attacks.

Even from a height of 200 feet, I could not fit the entire huge display in my frame.

The free patriotic display was produced by the village of Oak Brook Police Department and the True Patriots Care Foundation. I look forward to more visits in the coming years.

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