By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Snapping in the breeze, 200 U.S. flags form a patriotic sea of red, white and blue, ahead of Memorial Day, in Memorial Park, at Fort Street and Merrill Avenue.
Mayor Thomas Karnes, speaking at the May 17 City Council meeting, said a tribute to the city’s veterans, sponsored by the American Legion, would be held at noon May 23 at the band shell east of the park.
He said the flags were set up by the Lincoln Park Exchange Club in anticipation of a May 30 closing ceremony, during which the names of each of the city’s fallen war veterans will be read.
Karnes said tags will be affixed to each flag, each telling the story of a Lincoln Park veteran lost while serving their country.
City Councilwoman Maureen Tobin encouraged people to stroll through the park to see all of the flags.
“It’s a really good feeling to walk through that, and the honor that we are giving to our veterans that were lost is significant,” she said.
Karnes said he has read about some of the 134 veterans who are listed on the city’s memorial, and said they all have something in common.
“I say young men, because most were 19, 20,” he said. “They all left a residence in Lincoln Park and did not return.”
Karnes said he recently read about Thomas W. Bickford, who died during the Vietnam War, whose name was added to the memorial a few months ago.
“He had been married two months before he was killed in action,” he said. “And there is Richard Rushlow, and he was headed to Vietnam, and he stopped, and went back to his girlfriend’s mother, and told her that he would not be returning.
“Those stories, and the sacrifices that they made, so that we could remain free, offer a lot of opportunities for you to show your appreciation.”