The New England Patriots and the New England Revolution planted a flag garden near Gillette Stadium Thursday to honor some of the state's residents who have died in the service of the nation.
The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund usually plants 37,000 U.S. flags on the Boston Common around Memorial Day to honor residents who have died in wartime dating to the Revolutionary War, but this year's event was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Patriots and Revolution's foundations in response gathered volunteers on Thursday to plant more than 2,500 flags to honor the men and women from Foxborough who died defending the country.
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Donna Spigarolo, the Director of Community Relations for the New England Patriots, says she would not allow the Veterans to be forgotten.
"We would have gone to the Boston Common, we would have taken players, cheerleaders, season ticket members and we have a large group that would gather," Spigarolo said.
Ally Rodriguez, the director of Veteran services in Foxboro, echoed that sentiment.
"It's different and it's kind of sad but it's also beautiful how the community has come together," she said.
Among one of the volunteers wearing face masks for protection was high school junior Molly Castle who attended as part of the student engagement group Project 351.
"People like us get to prove that we really do care and we want to honor our fallen military service members and veterans," Castle said.
The director of Veteran services is asking everyone to print out flags this year and post them on their windows to show their support.