Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Avenue of the Flags

The Avenue of the Flags
Adds Union Jack
for British Hostages

Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, has a tribute to a part of our history that most people have forgotten or choose to forget - The Iran Hostage Crisis.

The Tribute comes in the largest known display of flags in the world - 444 American flags to mark each day the American Embassy hostages were held, and a Canadian flag to recognize the Canadian embassy's help in saving six hostages from captivity. Now, a Union Jack is being added to remember the British Sailors and Marines who are being held.

Tom Flynn, owner of the Hillcrest Memorial Park, felt that the Iran Hostage Crisis was too important to ever forget and determined he would find a way to remember.

With the help of unemployed steel workers in the area and flags donated by the families of veterans buried at Hillcrest, Flynn decided to erect an American flag for each day the hostages had been held. 444 flags fly to commemorate each of those days our citizens were held.

When the eight American servicemen were killed during an ill-fated rescue attempt in Iran, the citizens of Scranton joined forces to dedicate a permanent monument in memory of these brave men and placed it in the Avenue of Flags.

The hostages were released on January 20, 1981. Michael Matrinko, along with fiver other returning hostages, lit the eternal flame which still burns today in front of the monument dedicated to the 1980 rescue attempt.

Hillcrest is also home to a landmark known as the War on Terror Veterans Memorial. It consists of eight steel and glass panels. One panel lists the names of all US service members killed by acts of terror from 1975 through September 11, 2001. The other seven contain the names of all of the men and women killed fighting the war on terror. The names are updated each week.

Tom Flynn - thank you for this remarkable tribute to those lost to terrorism.

For more on the Iran Hostage Crisis, go here and here.


Sarge Charlie said...

another great post ms gazier

SGT DUB said...

An amazing post, thank you for letting us know. I will certainly make it a point to stop if I ever make it up there.

Katie said...

This is a great post. It brought tears to my eyes. I think it is wonderful that they are adding a Union Jack there. I hope that I get to see it sometime.

Marie's Two Cents said...

What a wonderful post, and beautiful pictures.

I recently passed through Pennsylvania and had not even realized until I was in Ohio that I passed right by Shanksville, I was so mad at myself I could have screamed because I wanted to go by and see where the Memorial to Flight 93 was going to be. And I blew it.

I intend to go back within the next year though and next time I want to see this Tribute in Flags also :-)

De'on Miller said...

How good of these people. How good of you to share and pass on this kind of patriotism and service.

Flag Gazer said...

I had never heard of this before and I was so moved. I would love to see 444 American flags flying! What a site that must be!

kevinc said...

I drive past this memorial almost daily and it is truly a beautiful sight on sunny days when the wind is blowing from the southwest. I found this post when I googled 444 flags as I was looking for a jpg to include in an email to a news show asking for responses to former President Carter's remarks about the Bush Administration being the 'worst in history'. I also included your url in said email and I hope they share it so you get hits from it.

Thank you for this post, flag gazer!