I'd like to thank the people who held the rememberance. No Greater Love does the best work in organizing and leading rememberance
ceremonies to keep in our minds fallen heroes. Here is a description from their web site.
Founded in 1971, NGL is
the only non-political, non-profit, humanitarian organization in the United States solely dedicated to providing annual programs
of remembrance, friendship and care for families who lost a loved one in the service of our country or by an act of terrorism.
NGL is committed to freedom, human dignity and the idea that, ``the beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance."
This commitment is reflected in bringing families together in remembrance of their loved ones who gave their last full measure
Click here to go to the main page for No Greater love:
This site is another Must See Site. In 1980, a man named Tom Flynn wanted to create a memorial in his home town of Hermitage,
PA, so that People would always remember the Hostages who were still being held at that time. He started to put up flags,
representing everyday the hostages were held. The response was fantastic, and now, these flags are a permanent display. There
is also an eternal flame to keep the lives of those brave men who died always in our hearts. Thanks Tom, you did a wonderful
job! Click on this photo for a link to "The Avenue of Flags"!
Flags:A Graphic Demonstration of American Patriotism American flags for as far as the eye can see greet visitors as they enter
the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Originally flown for the American hostages that were held in Iran
between 1979 and 1981, the 444 flags remain today a symbol of American hope and pride.
The story of this largest
known display of flags in the world begins on November 4, 1979, when Iranian militant students took control of American embassy
and held 53 American citizens captive.
While families of the hostages will always carry the memory of the Iranian
hostage crisis close to their hearts, many Americans became more and more detached as each day of captivity passed. All too
soon Americans watched news updates on the crisis with the feeling of indifference as they lost track of the duration of
But Tom Flynn, owner of Hillcrest Memorial Park, was convinced that this period in American history
was too important to forget and determined to find a way to help Hermitage and the nation remember.
help of unemployed steel workers in the Valley and flags donated by the families of veterans buried at Hillcrest, Flynn decided
to erect an American flag for each day the hostages had been held. On day 100, the first 100 flags were flown. In a special
ceremony that evening, Mr. and Mrs. Matrinko of Oliphant, Pennsylvania (near Scranton) raised the 100th flag and lighted
a flame of freedom for their son, Michael, who was still being held a captive. The flame would burn until Michael was able
to come home and extinguish it. Flynn further committed to add a flag to the memorial for each day the hostages were held.
Little did he know that this commitment would mean 344 additional flags.
Special ceremonies at Hillcrest were held on day 200, 300, 365, and 400, as time in captivity began to be marked by the
number of flags flying on the Avenue. Included in these special tributes was a 52-hour prayer vigil, one hour for each of
the remaining hostages still being held.
When eight American servicemen lost their lives during an ill-fated rescue
attempt in Iran, the citizens of Scranton joined forces to dedicate a permanent monument in memory of these brave men and
placed it in the Avenue of Flags.
The hostages were released on January 20, 1981. Michael Matrinko, along with
five other returning hostages, lighted the eternal flame which today still burns in front of the monument dedicated to the
1980 rescue attempt. The flame was taken from the Flame of Freedom, lit by the Matrinkos on the 100th day of captivity.
Over 1,000 flags were used to keep the flags flying during the original 444 days, as the flags needed to be replaced
three to four time a year. All but 100 of these original flags were donated by supporters from all around the world. Most
of them had once draped the casket of an American veteran. The flags represented periods in history from the Spanish-American
War through the Vietnam conflict. One Canadian flag also flies on the Avenue in recognition of the Canadian embassy's help
in saving six hostages from captivity and eventually returning them to freedom.