Volunteers remove Flags of Valor display from Art Hill

The volunteers say they'll never forget.

ST. LOUIS - Volunteers met Monday morning to take down more than 7,000 American flags that were on display on Art Hill since September 6, 2016. Each flag stood for a military member who have lost their life in the War on Terror since September 11, 2001.

"These kids were from Preston, Iowa, New York, they were from Texas," project organizer Rick Randall said. "But primarily they were young. They were young and beautiful."

As beautiful, he says, were the flags representing each of their lives.

Photos: Flags of Valor on Art Hill

"There was no way these flags should have stayed as straight as they were with four and a half inches of rain on this hill, but I think the kids that these flags represented stood tall," he said.

Thousands of people came to see them.

Related: Volunteers fill Art Hill with American flags

"Jerry was left without anyone when his son died," Randall said. "Standing with his only son's flag yesterday was probably just the most emotional moment."

Just as they went up, the flags were taken down thanks to hundreds of volunteers. They participate because they care.

"Very much so," volunteer Amy Krekeler-Weber said. "That I could do something for someone."

"The most emotional thing was putting the dog tags up and seeing the individual soldiers when we had to put them on each flag," volunteer Robert Eichhorn said.

Aerial video: Flags of Valor in Forest Park

"It actually brings tears to my eyes," volunteer Deneen Thomas said. "It's so sad that all these families have to deal with so much loss."

They say they'll never forget even after the flags are gone.

"I think that hill kind of made a loud statement about that and I think there are a lot of people in St. Louis now that probably have more appreciation for this tremendous sacrifice that's made so we can enjoy this beautiful park any time we want," Randall said.




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