Kaneland High School to host Healing Field

By on May 9, 2014
PHOTO, WA Healing Field

KANELAND—Kaneland High School will soon feature a field of American flags.

The concept is called the Healing Field, and it will requre sale of 1,000 flags. The Healing Field will take place Friday, May 23, until Tuesday, May 27, on the field directly east of KHS.

Rudy Keller, interim co-athletic director at Kaneland High School, is the chair of the Kaneland Healing Field Committee. He said that the Healing Field is important.

“It represents patriotism and it honors servicemen and servicewomen who fight to defend our country and our freedom,” Keller said.

Don Grillo, a Campton Hills resident, is a commander for the Maple Park American Legion. Having served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, he reflected on what the Healing Field means to him.

“I think it’s a wonderful, beautiful tribute to those who have served,” Grillo said. “And just our country in general—it’s just a beautiful, amazing site when you’re amongst all those flags and they’re all waving and flapping in the wind.”

Individuals and businesses can purchase flags for the Healing Field. A single flag costs $35. A small business sponsorship is five flags for $500. A corporate sponsorship is 10 flags for $1,000. All proceeds will go to local American Legions in Maple Park, Elburn and Sugar Grove, Keller said.

People purchasing flags can also write personalized messages on tags attached to flagpoles. Markers will be provided to those seeking to personalize their purchased flags.

Although flags ideally represent veterans and those who have died while serving, Keller said they can also represent first responders, family members, neighbors and friends.

“Predominantly, people write their message on the tag in honor of somebody who has served,” he said.

Flag tagging will take place during the Healing Field opening ceremony on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. Select Kaneland High School students will play patriotic music on their instruments during the ceremony. Songs will include “America the Beautiful,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “National Anthem.”

In addition, three planes will do a flyover after the anthem is sung.

John Magill, a bagpiper, will perform songs including “Going Home” and “Amazing Grace.” CW4 Ty Simmons will be the keynote speaker during the event. Legacy Girls will perform at 1 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help with the Healing Field ceremony. Tasks include greeting people, answering questions and collecting flag payments. Those interested in volunteering, purchasing flags or obtaining more information can contact Keller at rudy.keller@kaneland.org or visit healingfield.org/kaneland14/.

Herschel Luckinbill, a Montgomery resident, served in the Navy from 1964 to 1968, and had been aboard the first American ship that received direct fire during the Vietnam War.

“I think (the Healing Field) is a great way to show patriotism, honor, respect for all of our fallen heros,” Luckinbill said. “We can’t do enough for our veterans, and we can’t honor our World War II and Korean veterans and Vietnam veterans enough, and all of our current veterans, (as well).”

Courtesy photo