Vouchers for Veterans, in collaboration with the City of Rochester, is pleased to announce the return of the Field of Honor, a moving display paying tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of servicemen and women. Starting May 25th, at the Rochester Common, this important event features 550 full-size American flags.
Open to the public and free of charge, the Field of Honor stands as a tribute from the morning of May 25th until Tuesday morning, May 28th, when it will be respectfully disassembled. Each evening at 7:00 pm, a bugler will play taps, honoring the memory of all branches of the armed forces, followed by a soul-stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace” performed by a bagpiper.
Continuing the tradition from previous years, the flags will be dedicated to fallen heroes from New Hampshire and Maine who served their country. The multi-day event draws thousands of visitors to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.
Individuals interested in dedicating a flag can visit vouchersforveterans.org/events. Each 3×5″ flag, proudly made in the USA, is available for dedication at $40.00. Contributions can be securely made online or through a printed form along with a check. Participants have the option to honor a specific Veteran, living or deceased, or allow Vouchers for Veterans to select a Veteran who died in action.
For those purchasing multiple flags, they will be grouped within the display. Volunteers will be available between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to assist in locating specific flags. Each flag will bear a laminated card featuring the name, rank, and branch of the Veteran. Those who died in action will be indicated by a black cross, with each card affixed to the pole with a yellow silk ribbon.
Post-event, participants have the option to keep their flag or donate it for future events. Flags can be mailed for a flat fee of $12.00 or collected in person on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the American Legion, 94 Eastern Avenue, Rochester, NH 03867, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Sales will conclude on May 15th or upon flag inventory depletion.
On Monday, May 27th, the Rochester Memorial Day parade will culminate at the Field of Honor at approximately 11:15 am, followed by a ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 7. The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors and the laying of wreaths for each branch of the military, followed by guest speaker(s).
Jeanne Grover, founder of Vouchers for Veterans, expresses pride in bringing back this event for the fourth consecutive year. “This deeply moving display is an enduring tribute that resonates in the hearts of all who witness it. It’s a collaborative effort, requiring the dedication of 75-100 volunteers to bring to fruition.”
Board member Don Dupuis, a retired colonel, initiated the idea in 2020, along with his wife Patricia Turner-Dupuis, also a retired colonel, after receiving a flag in honor of their son Donald Turner, a dedicated Naval Aviator who passed away while in service. “Donnie,” as remembered by his parents, pursued his dream of becoming a pilot, epitomizing valor through three operational combat tours.
Vouchers for Veterans, a 501(c)(3) all-volunteer-driven non-profit, extends gratitude to New Hampshire and Maine Veterans for their service. The organization provides $20.00 vouchers at participating farmers’ markets up to 26 times a year, enabling Veterans to access fresh, locally sourced food and fostering camaraderie. This initiative not only supports Veterans but also benefits vendors and the community by reinvesting funds.
Grover emphasizes, “Our mission revolves around reintegrating combat Veterans into the community. We take immense pride in welcoming them back home, creating a space where they feel secure among peers and engage in cathartic conversations.”
Bill Gaudreau, Director of Military Affairs and Veterans Services, offers monthly assistance to Veterans in uncovering available benefits, ensuring they receive the support they deserve.
The Field of Honor’s net proceeds directly contribute to expanding outreach, enabling Vouchers for Veterans to serve more Veterans and establish additional locations. The organization operates without federal or state funding, relying entirely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, community grants, and specially hosted events like the Field of Honor.
For more information about Vouchers for Veterans and the Field of Honor event, visit vouchersforveterans.org.