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Forty two rows of American flags were placed at the Buffalo Chips’s freedom field in South Dakota last week as a tribute to those who gave their lives for our country. 

Veterans, volunteers, and other members of the community raised the 808 flags in a 42×19 pattern on June 26th as part of an annual event held by Buffalo Chip. The display will remain until the end of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is planned for August 7th through the 16th. 

“Our country needs it right now,” said Mike Kain, who served in the US Army for 30 years. 

 “We don’t know any of these people, but here they are coming to put flags up. Why do they do that? Because they love this country and our veterans love this country, and it’s something we all need to get back to. Right, wrong or indifferent, we aren’t perfect, but it’s a heck of a good country, and I love it.”

The display started 20 years ago as a tribute to those who died in the Iraq war. Initially, each flag represented one American life lost with a soldier’s name on each flag, but eventually they ran out of space for new flags, so the organization opted to allow the display as a whole to represent all active and retired soldiers and those who died in the line of duty, reported Rapid City Journal.

“It’s something that touches their hearts, and when you touch somebody else’s heart like that, it touches yours,” said Rod Woodruff, founder and president of the Buffalo Chip.

“Doing our share to show patriotism, respect for the flag that people have put together this union, this republic with 50 states right now, it worked pretty well for 200 years and I’d like to see it continue on for a long, long time,” he said.

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