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Field of Honor returns to Castaways Park in Newport Beach

Lauretta Stansfield of the Exchange Club of Newport Beach with flags at Castaways Park.
Lauretta Stansfield of the Exchange Club of Newport Beach poses for a photo while setting up the Field of Honor at Castaways Park in Newport Beach Friday.
(Eric Licas)
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In time for Armed Forces Day, Field of Honor has returned to Castaways Park in Newport Beach to recognize U.S. service members as well as first responders for their sacrifices in the line of duty.

It’s the 15th year the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor has organized the display of 1,776 American flags — a number that represents the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. The flags, which were set up Friday, will be on display daily through Memorial Day.

Some of the flags were dedicated in honor of a specific individual, and half the net proceeds from those dedications will go toward supporting military families.

The reflection of Newport Bay and flags set up at Castaways Park.
The reflection of Newport Bay and flags set up at Castaways Park for the annual Field of Honor display are seen Friday, May 17, in the stone of a monument dedicated to the Marine Corps.
(Eric Licas)

The remainder will be put toward programs promoting the prevention of child abuse, programs within the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, scholarships and charitable organizations.

A special celebration will be held on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. at Castaways Park, located at 700 Dover Drive, for Armed Forces Day. The keynote speaker will be Maj. Billy Hall, who, according to the club, is believed to be the last living veteran enlisted before WWII who saw combat in that war as well as in Korea and Vietnam. A Memorial Day celebration will be held on May 27 from noon to 1 p.m. at the park.

The keynote speaker for that event is expected to be Elaine Brattain, a national chaplain for American Gold Star Mothers from 2019 to 2022.

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Retired Newport Beach Fire Capt. Jerry Strom, Capt. Andy Hayes and Lifeguard Rob Marienthal.
From left to right, retired Newport Beach Fire Capt. Jerry Strom, Capt. Andy Hayes and lifeguard Rob Marienthal pay their respects to first responders who have died in the line of duty by visiting the Field of Honor exhibition at Castaways Park in Newport Beach Friday, May 17.
(Eric Licas)
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