Thanks to Paul Swenson, a dedicated Sandy, Utah, Exchangite, 3,031 American flags were placed in silent tribute to the memory of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This first Healing Field project commemorated the one-year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.
At the 2003 National Exchange Club Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, the National Exchange Club Foundation Board of Trustees and the National Exchange Club Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the Healing Field project. A resolution was passed in support of the project. Healing Fields can honor any number of people from abused children to war veterans.
The work and mission of the Healing Field® Foundation spontaneously emerged from a patriotic desire of citizens and the Exchange Club in Sandy, Utah to honor the memory of the victims of the September 11th tragedy with a symbolic field of U.S. flags. Response to this first Healing Field flag display from around the nation was so overwhelming that The Healing Field Foundation was formed to help other communities organize and present Healing Field flag displays in honor of Patriot’s Day, Child Abuse Awareness and other patriotic causes to help raise awareness and money for worthy charitable causes.
The program was proliferated across America in cooperation and partnership with the National Exchange Club Service Organization and other patriotic organizations. The charter corporate sponsor of the National Healing Field Foundation, Colonial Flag donates $1 from every flag displayed on any sanctioned Healing Field flag display to the Exchange Club Foundation for the Prevention of Child abuse due to this cooperative effort.
Clubs interested in hosting a Healing Field flag memorial event in their community can contact the Healing Field Foundation who administrates this Americanism the use of all HF trade marks and materials and receive the tools and assistance necessary to present a successful and emotional experience. Assistance in marketing, sponsorship acquisition, committee organization, program event steps, media relations, volunteer coordination, fundraising and more.
It is important that clubs appoint a chairman and committee to spearhead this event. The committee should develop a plan months in advance, selecting dates and reserving a high profile site large enough to display the flags. City officials should be contacted to arrange necessary permits and enlist their support. Also, contact the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to solicit their input and get the event listed on their calendars of upcoming community events. Send news releases to the local media, recruit business leaders, friends, family and elected officials to provide support.
Plan for enough time to locate, assemble and put up flags on the site. Schedule a ceremony to dedicate the memorial. Recruit military units, police and fire department units or color guards to take part in the ceremony. Invite the mayor, religious and military leaders to speak. Be sure to invite the media to cover the event and schedule interviews with local officials and your club president. After the display is over, allow time for volunteers to remove the flags and purchase them.
The Healing Field website, www.healingfield.org, provides a wealth of information on implementing the project. They will help lay out the field and even provide a project web page on your field, along with photos, maps and news releases.
For information on the Healing Field and Field of Honor flag display programs and to receive our DVD presentation and information packet, please contact Sawn Swenson, Program Director, at 866-375-3524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.