Field of flags fly in Norwalk as city gets national recognition for Veterans Day

The committee chose 66 communities across the country that represent “fitting tributes to America's heroes.”

Marissa Alter

Nov 10, 2023, 1:45 AM

Updated 258 days ago


It's the iconic symbol of America with 50 stars and 13 stripes, and since Saturday, Old Glory in all its glory covers Veterans Park in Norwalk. Five hundred flags now fly there.
“My heart flutters. It's just amazing,” said Steve Nezas, president of the Norwalk Exchange Club, which helms the annual effort. “It's always an honor and a privilege to be able to put this Field of Flags up every year to honor veterans.”
Nezas, who graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and was trained as an Army combat medic, told News 12 the club started it nine years ago with about 100 flags.
“Through donations from members of the club and a lot of folks from outside the club, we were able to expand it now to 500, but we'd love to have 2,000 flags,” Nezas said.
It's a worthy goal for a city that was named a Regional Site for the observance of this Veterans Day by the Veterans Day National Committee, which hosts the annual Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. The committee chose 66 communities across the country that represent “fitting tributes to America's heroes.”
“Norwalk is the only community in Connecticut to receive this recognition,” explained Chuck Kriewald. Kriewald, who served in Vietnam, is a member of the city’s Military & Veterans Liaison Committee, which organized the upcoming Veterans Day commemoration ceremony.
This is the fourth year Norwalk got the designation which Kriewald called a pretty big honor.
“That makes me very proud that I’m a veteran and of what we do here in Norwalk,” Kriewald told News 12. “A lot of it is attributed to our mayor, who is a veteran. He's totally involved with both the American Legion and the VFW here in Norwalk. He's a strong believer of both organizations.”
Kriewald is a service officer for the VFW and a trustee for the American Legion. He said the event Saturday, Nov. 11, is at City Hall and starts at 9:30 a.m. with a concert by the American Festival Band. The guest speaker is Beverly Sanford Follis, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who lives in Norwalk.
Part of the regional site designation means there will be military ceremonial support from the U.S. Department of Defense.
“It's all about making people aware. We do not want the veterans to be forgotten,” Kriewald said.
Norwalk’s Field of Flags is also a reminder about those who served our country, and perhaps a source of pride and unity.
“Patriotism. Love for America—this is what America’s all about,” stated Nezas, adding that he’s gotten quite the response from local veterans. “They drive by, and they wish we could keep this up all year long.”

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