VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Flags are flying high throughout Hampton Roads this Independence Day, but there is one display that has a special meaning.
Located outside the Eastern Shore Chapel off Laskin Road in Virginia Beach, it’s called the Field of Flags. The display remembers the Americans who gave their lives for this country while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Church member Elizabeth Brown said they put the display up around Memorial Day and taken it down after the Fourth of July.
“It’s a tangible reminder of how many we lost,” said Brown. “There are a lot of military tires, obviously, being where we are.”
For her family, it's the painful loss of Lt. Robert Forwalder when his aircraft crashed into the sea after a flight mission to Bosnia in 1993.
Four other men also died, and the flag has great meaning to so many Hampton Roads families.
“They’re protecting us and keeping us safe,” said 8-year-old Riley Stegall.
Riley's mom took him and his little sister, Eriss, to the Field of Flags Wednesday.
“I love how the flags look and I try to bring them out every year,” said Erica Stegall.
Many others have stopped by in years past to remember and reflect.
“I think this is the kind of thing that unifies people,” said Brown.
The Church has been doing this since 2012 and said this year, they sadly added 35 new flags.
“We keep hoping as time goes by we won’t have to add as many. We would like to think that we find peace at some point,” said Brown.
Church leaders said they’ll be taking the flags down next Sunday.