Cobb Community Foundation is proud to hold and manage charitable funds for many local service clubs. In 2004, we officially began our partnership with Kiwanis Club of Marietta; that was one year after the club installed its first Field of Flags. This year will mark the fifth recurrence of this solemn remembrance of the 2,977 innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001.
The Field of Flags came about as a natural outgrowth of the Kiwanis Club’s Flag Project, where club members deploy over 1,700 large American flags around Marietta Square and throughout the community on six patriotic holidays each year. In 2003, Devan Seabaugh, president of the club at the time, and the late Glenn Graham, the club’s chair of the Flag Project, conceived of a “field of flags” to honor those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
Deploying almost 3,000 flags with its $30,000 budget and complex logistics, seemed a gargantuan task, but Seabaugh and Graham found club members and friends throughout the community ready and willing to take on the project. A couple of anonymous Kiwanians underwrote the funding. Others worked with officials at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield to meet the National Park Service’s requirements to use the site for the tribute. Club member Sam Kelly and Cobb Electric Membership Corporation provided nighttime lighting. Flagpoles were donated by Mark Wade and Wade Electric, and club members began to sell flags to defray costs.
Kiwanian Trent Turk of GeoSurvey Land Surveying recognized the challenges of placing thousands of large flags across the nine-acre site in an organized pattern. Using state-of-the-art surveying equipment, his staff marked the battlefield into grids and the placement of every flag was planned.