Most Meaningful Memorial

May 30, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill The ‘Field of Flags’ at Southern Regional High School is especially meaningful to the family of Lance Cpl. Christopher B. Cosgrove III, who was killed in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2006.

The following was addressed to Southern Regional High School Principal Eric Wilhelm.

Dear Principal Wilhelm:

A few years ago, my husband and I stumbled across Southern Regional High School’s “Field of Flags” tribute. I can honestly say that it took our breath away. The beauty and simplicity of that tribute say more than any monument, street naming or statue ever could because it recognizes each and every hero who has sacrificed his or her life on behalf of our beloved country and our cherished freedom.

It is especially important to our family because one of those flags represents our son, Lance Cpl. Christopher B. Cosgrove III, who was killed in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2006. On that first year, we stopped and wandered through the flags. While we were there, a mother and her two young sons were also walking amongst the flags. As they skipped through the flags and played with each other, they reminded us of the joy of childhood and the reason why it was so important to Christopher to defend our and their freedoms.

Each passing year, we stop to see your students’ beautiful tribute. At times, it can be overwhelming to realize how many have died since 2001. Yet the reality is, we lost almost as many soldiers on D-Day alone. Nonetheless, each flag represents a young man or woman willing to put themselves in harm’s way for us. Each flag represents lives shattered by the loss of a child, spouse, sibling, relative or friend. But most of all, each flag represents a hero who was willing to risk his/her life for freedom.

Each year, I vow that I will write you this letter, and each year, it falls on the back burner. Not this year! My husband and I once again wandered the field last Friday, grateful to your students and faculty for making a difficult weekend easier. It is nice to know that the sacrifices of these heroes are recognized every Memorial Day.

On behalf of my husband and I, and Christopher’s brothers, please extend our sincere thanks to your students and faculty. That memorial means more to us than any of you can ever possibly know.

God bless your students and faculty, and God bless America!

Eileen F. Cosgrove

New Providence, N.J., and Barnegat



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