Thousands of miniature flags blanketing the town Common in recent days will provide the multi-colored backdrop to an addiction awareness event this coming Sunday.
Billed as “The Stakes are High: Remembering Those Lost to the Crisis,” the event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday on the Common bandstand and will feature entertainment, information and speakers focusing on the addictions crisis.
Spearheaded by Foxboro Jaycees, the local display was planned in conjunction with Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held each year on Aug. 31 and dedicated to helping eliminate overdose deaths.
Organizer Kris Long of Foxboro, a past Jaycee president currently serving on the local organization’s board of directors, said the memorial display helps validate the experiences and the heartaches of those affected by the opioid crisis.
Volunteers from Foxboro Jaycees were on hand last Saturday to lay out grids for the memorial flags, which represent every overdose victim in Massachusetts from 2015-18 — as well as every child born in to addiction during 2018.
Visible to passers-by during the past week, the green, blue, yellow and purple lawn flags located on the north end of the Common surrounding the bandstand are grouped separately into four sections between the spoked walkways, with different colors designating the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Those lost during 2015 are represented by green flags, in 2016 by orange flags, in 2017 by yellow flags and in 2018 by purple flags.
Due to backlogs and other difficulties in confirming many deaths by overdose, Long said a precise number is virtually impossible to establish. However, she said the cumulative number for the four years in question is between 7,800 and 8,000 deaths.
“Because of that these numbers can never really be final,” Long said in a previous interview. “People don’t always understand that.”
The effect is intended to evoke similar sentiments to recent memorial galleries which blanket landscapes with thousands of small flags in honor of American service personnel.
“It’s a reflection,” said Long, whose two children have struggled with addiction-related issues. “It’s not meant to be somber.”
For more information visit online at: www.stakesarehigh.org.