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The City Journals

Flags Offer Healing and Hope

Sep 09, 2015 11:18AM ● By Bryan Scott


By Aimee L. Cook

No matter how much time has passed, Americans may always feel the need to commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Many of us can remember where we were when the Twin Towers were hit and so many people lost their lives. Fourteen years ago, Paul Swenson, the owner of Colonial Flag, felt the need to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, so he created the Healing Field.

Today, to commemorate that anniversary, 3,000 flags stand at attention at Sandy City Hall Promenade. The impressive display of red, white and blue blowing in the breeze leaves you full of emotion.  

“This will be the 14th year of the Utah Healing Field, another opportunity to walk the field of flags with our children and grandchildren to educate them on the cost of freedom and the right of having liberty,” Shauna Jorgensen, chairman of the Utah Healing Field 2015, said. “This emotional event is the perfect setting to feel and understand what it truly means to have the privilege of claiming our birthright of being an American. The field of flags crosses the bridge of all political parties. It connects an infant to a 90-year-old, male and female, for each and every one of us to feel patriotism. To feel tender in heart, meek, humble. To fall in love with our country, young and old.” 

While victims of the 9/11 attacks are memorialized and remembered at the Healing Field each year, the event has also become a way to raise awareness for different causes, such as child abuse prevention, as well as a fundraiser by selling the flags for places like the Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Fisher House, a place where family members of hospitalized veterans can stay. 

“People from all over the country now create these fields,” Sawn Swenson, director of the Colonial Flag Foundation, said. “We created this foundation as a way to maintain the integrity of the original idea; it’s a tribute.” 


Utah Healing Field 2015

Sandy City Hall Promenade

September 11-14, 2015

Open Free to the Public 24/7