Flags for Heroes
By Suzanne Vanderhoef
For most weekends this summer, volunteers will be gathering in a warehouse in South St. Louis, putting together 6-foot tall American flags. Each shift – every Saturday and Sunday—will be assembling at least 300 flags onto poles, for a total of more than 7,600.
Those flags, along with dog tags and photos of fallen servicemembers, will then be placed on Art Hill for a week commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Somebody who made the ultimate sacrifice is known as a Gold Star on the service flag. it’s a blue star when they’re in action, it turns gold if they make the ultimate sacrifice So we attach labels to each flagpole that coincide with the photograph and the dog tag that are specific: one flag for one service member.
Susan Jacobs is a Gold Star mom. Her son Sgt. Zachary Michael Fisher is one of the fallen whose memory will be marked by one of those flags.
“He was a 9/11 child,” Jacobs says. “He was 15 when all this happened and I remember him coming home from school and being very, very distraught, very outraged, not knowing how to handle what he had just seen on television. When he told us he was going to go into the service, he had made up his mind then.”
Zachary served for 9 months in Iraq with the 618th Airborne Division. The he got orders to go to Afghanistan. On July 14, 2010, Zachary Fisher was killed in Sibul, Afghanistan.”
“What Gold Star families want the most is for their family member to never be forgotten,” explains Jacobs. “Because they gave up everything and all their tomorrows for us.”