A field of more than 37,000 American flags is fluttering in the breeze on Boston Common next to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in honor of Memorial Day.
Each flag represents a person from Massachusetts who died in military service since the Revolutionary War. The nonprofit Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund has organized the display every year since 2010.
"It's important that we rally behind those who have given so much for our freedom and for our country," said Steve Kerrigan, the group's co-founder. "We encourage folks to remember those 37,360 Bay Staters who made that sacrifice and the families that they left behind."
The flags will remain planted on the Common through Memorial Day.
Flags have also been planted at both state-run veterans' cemeteries, in Agawam and Winchendon. There are 15,000 service members buried at those grounds.
Cheryl Lussier Poppe, the state's secretary of veterans' services, said there are ways to honor those who have died even if you can't make it to an event or cemetery in person.
"My thought would be — and hope would be — that everyone just takes a moment to pause," Poppe said. "They did this to protect our freedom, and they died so that we could live, and that we could be a free nation."