Helping our heroes heal
The Healing Field® display takes place outside the CHS Refinery at Laurel and includes 1,000 flags that honor those lost to tragedy.
Every day, military personnel and first responders risk their lives to keep us safe. But with their heroism can come tragedy.
For the past two years, the Laurel (Mont.) Exchange Club has hosted Yellowstone Valley’s Annual Healing Field® display, which consists of 1,000 flags posted in tribute to heroes and to remember victims of terrorist attacks and child abuse. This year's event was held Sept. 11-14, 2019 and honored September 11, 2001.
“The Laurel Healing Field is a gift to the community made possible through sponsorships, the efforts of volunteers and through donations. Since the event’s inception, CHS has been the largest financial supporter,” says Justin Whitfield, senior business systems analyst at the CHS Refinery at Laurel. Whitfield is Laurel Exchange chapter president and uses his volunteer hours to help staff the field and educate the Laurel community about the Healing Field.
The stories shared during the four-day event are heartbreaking: A 9/11 cleanup crew member who presented his patch from New York, which had been locked away since 2001. An 8-year-old whose father died in combat wrote “Miss you daddy” on a tag attached to a flag to be flown every year. A widow honoring her husband who died from an opioid addiction following a service-related injury.
“This event allows people to share their story and would not be possible without partners like CHS and without our community wanting to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fight for our freedoms every day,” says Whitfield.