Ninety new American flags took their place Monday at Prospect Hill Cemetery's War Flag Memorial.
The bright flags mingled with the 2,200 weathered ones that already stood there, symbolizing soldiers killed during conflict in Afghanistan.
During a flag updating ceremony, more than 100 attendees stood in silence as each flag was placed. The names and ranks of the fallen were read aloud, and a bell tolled after volunteers planted each flag in the ground. Dozens of people in attendance saluted each fallen soldier.
The cemetery also added three new Pennsylvania flags to the 294 that already stood. They represent the sacrifices of Staff Sgt. Patrick H. Quinn from Quarryville, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins from Carlisle and Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Baysore, Jr. from Milton.
Honoring the fallen: Prospect Hill began the flag display in August 2005, said Jack Sommer, the cemetery's CEO. The site has been updated 27 times, he said.
More than 4,400 flags representing those who lost their lives in Iraq were retired in 2010, he said. In the fever pitch of the Iraq War, there were four to six updatings a year, Sommer said.
Monday marked the first time the cemetery updated the memorial only once from April to November, he said, but that's not good enough.
"Ninety is too many. One is too many," Sommer said.
The flags will stand for a couple more weeks until cemetery officials remove them for the winter, he said.
And updating the flag display has fallen on Veterans Day more than once, Sommer said.
"Particularly Veterans Day is where we honor those who served, and obviously those who made the supreme sacrifice," he said.
Digital memorial: After the ceremony concluded with "Taps" and "Amazing Grace," attendees were drawn to the Fallen Heroes Memorial, which displays the names and photos of the more than 6,600 service men and women killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It was installed one year ago.
Sommer said Prospect Hill has made plans to recreate the interactive display online. The website would mimic the memorial's format, complete with names and photos of the fallen, he said.
The cemetery plans to build the website over the winter, Sommer said.
- Reach Mollie Durkin at email@example.com.