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New tradition started as Greenport Rotary fills Mitchell Park with flags

The Greenport Rotary Club honored veterans, first responders and people who have made a difference in the lives of others, through a ‘Field of Honor Flags’ event in Mitchell Park Thursday.

On Friday morning, 3’ x 5’ flags waved proudly on the waterfront, just in front of the Antique Carousel. More than 30 Americans, some local residents, were honored Thursday with a name tag describing their area of service, terms of service (if in the line of duty), a special note and the sponsor’s name.

“It doesn’t have to be a veteran,” said John Sabatino, a 35-year member of the Rotary Club. “You can dedicate to a first responder, firefighter, 9/11 victim, teacher, parent, whoever you want to honor.”

The flag project will be an annual event going forward, occurring five times a year — on Flag Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. A $50 donation is required and annual subscriptions will be offered each spring. Proceeds will be directed to the Greenport Rotary Club, with a portion to be donated to first responders.

Flags will likely be taken down by Sunday, barring rain. To purchase a flag or get involved with the club, visit: greenportrotary.net.

Mr. Sabatino said the event was inspired by similar events in other places.

“We just kind of picked up on it,” he said. “If we could fill the whole park, we would.”