The Annual Healing Field at Patriot Park in Cathedral City is expected to return in November 2021.
But the annual ceremonies and displays to honor fallen veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan won’t happen in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Like just about everything else in our lives, Covid-19 has ransacked some of the best events and happenings around the desert for 9 months now, with no end in sight.
Some events in the desert have already been cancelled in early 2021 due to uncertainty about the pandemic.
The Rotary Clubs of Cathedral City have rescheduled the annual Healing Field event to November 6th to the 13th 2021.
However, the clubs are encouraging Coachella Valley residents to share photos of their veteran friends and family members who serve or previously served in the Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photos can be posted on the Healing Field Facebook Page, which can be found by simply typing “Healing Field” or @healingfieldcathedralcity into Facebook’s search box.
“We are very disappointed that we cannot hold our 15th annual Healing Field event in person this year, but in the interest of public safety, we think it’s best that we reschedule this event to next November,” said Betsy Hayes, a Healing Field organizer who works with Gillian Cross in coordinating the event.
The annual event is co-sponsored by the Cathedral City Noon and Evening Rotary Clubs, which collect donations from the community to purchase and store American flags and other materials for the annual event, which typically draws thousands of veterans and their families from across the Coachella Valley.
Volunteers traditionally set up more than 5,000 American flags at Patriot Park in Cathedral City for the annual, seven-day event, which also includes speeches by military leaders as well as moving tributes to veterans. At least year’s Healing Field event, the names of 7,012 men and women who died in service to this country since 9/11 were read out loud around the clock over loudspeakers.
As of November 2020, 7,037 veterans have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The whole purpose of Healing Field is to provide an opportunity for friends and family to come together to honor their loved ones and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for this country,” Hayes said.
While the 5,000 plus American flags that are set up at Patriot Park for each Healing Field event are a striking display, each flag is also personally symbolic for families of fallen veterans, since each flag pole carries a tag bearing the name, rank, branch of service, age, and hometown of each fallen hero.
The Rotary Clubs of Cathedral City have organized a Healing Field event every year for the past 15 years. The Rotary Clubs of Cathedral City are asking the community for donations to help the clubs prepare for next year’s Healing Field event.
Donations can be sent to Healing Field, c/o Cathedral City Rotary Club, P.O. Box 654, Cathedral City, CA 92235.
Healing Field Photo From Jeff Crider, Rotary Clubs of Cathedral City CA