Valdosta-Lowndes Country Parks & Recreation Authority is hosting the first ever Flags of Freedom display, honoring military members who sacrificed their lives for our nation. 50 flags, one for every state, will line a section of the road through Freedom Park as a temporary memorial. VLPRA Program Coordinator Kelly Hritz says this event has been in the works for months.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to set up this type of display,” Hritz said. “We’ve been planning it for quite a while, and the idea has evolved from just flags to both flags and signs.”
In addition to the flags, VLPRA is placing signs listing the names of every service member from Lowndes County who was killed in action from World War II on. There will also be signs honoring our fallen heroes from Moody Air Force Base, airmen who died while stationed here in Valdosta.
VLPRA Marketing & PR Director Jessica Catlett says staff searched the National Archives and worked with the Moody Air Force Base historian to locate the names.
“We tried to get names from World War I, but most of those records were lost in a fire,” Catlett said. “But we were able to find more than 100 fallen service members from all the other conflicts since. These were local folks who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It’s truly humbling.”
Moody Air Force Base volunteers and VLPRA staff will be placing the flags and signs on Friday, May 28th ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The display will be open for the public to drive or walk through from May 28th until the week of July 5th.