Church expands scope of tribute to veterans

10/11/2014 8:00 AM |
Barbara McAdam (right) sorts flags with the help of her husband, Tom (left), and Cutchogue United Methodist Church Pastor Richie King. Each flag will be fitted with a ribbon bearing a veteran's name and service information. Donations for more than 75 flags have already been collected. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Barbara McAdam (right) sorts flags with the help of her husband, Tom (left), and Cutchogue United Methodist Church Pastor Richie King. Each flag will be fitted with a ribbon bearing a veteran’s name and service information. Donations for more than 75 flags have already been collected. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Come November, the lawn in front of Cutchogue Presbyterian Church will become a field of American flags. Each will honor a fallen, deployed or returning soldier. 

Church leaders are preparing to host their third annual “Field of Flags” fundraiser. But for the first time, they’re opening the initiative up to the entire community, hoping to generate more funds for donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Barbara McAdam, a retired high school English teacher and assistant at Cutchogue Presbyterian Church, came up with the idea to expand the event after deciding she wanted to do something more to honor veterans.

“It is a very important holiday to me,” Ms. McAdam said. “I think of those in the military often. I have had family members who have served, and now, former students of mine continue to serve.”

While her father, uncle and brother each served in the armed forces, Ms. McAdam said what really pushed her to act was the death of Paulo Pacificador, a former student who was killed while serving in Iraq. Ms. McAdam taught him when he was a junior at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach.

“He was such a respectful young man and that’s quite impressive nowadays,” she said of Mr. Pacificador, who was killed with three others when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle.

Pastor Richie King, whose father served in Japan during World War II, said he hopes the field of flags will remind people that “we should never forget our veterans — on any day.”

The church will sell personalized American flags for $5. Each will be fitted with a ribbon bearing a veteran’s name, branch of service, rank, war or conflict and dates of service.

The flags will be placed on the front lawn of the church Saturday, Nov. 1, so that the memorial can be in place for more than just the Nov. 11 holiday. Cutchogue Hardware has donated 200 flags and all proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Flags are on sale through Saturday, Oct. 25. Checks can be made payable to Wounded Warrior Project or Cutchogue Presbyterian Church and mailed with the designated veteran’s service information to P.O. Box 964, Cutchogue, NY 11935.

For more information, contact Ms. McAdam at 734-5922 or Janice at 208-1844.

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