WASHINGTON (Circa) – A veteran's group planted 5,520 flags in the National Mall lawn on Tuesday, one to honor each veteran who died from suicide this year.
The effort was part of the Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran's of America's #StormTheHill initiative which aims to raise awareness for veteran suicide. Approximately 4,555 American service members have died in Iraq, and another 2,413 have died in Afghanistan, according to icasualties.org.
Our National Mall Activation around Veteran Suicide is underway. Volunteers, allies, and Stormers from our Fall #StormTheHill are placing flags to remember the 5,520 veterans and military suicides to date. Check out photos throughout the day here --> https://t.co/a1X8tjQIly pic.twitter.com/D71LWi1imP— IAVA (@iava) October 3, 2018
"Too many of our men and women are diying," said IAVA founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff in a statement posted to the organization's website. "We can’t fight this problem alone. We need reinforcements of the greatest magnitude. We need a national call to action from the top that mobilizes all Americans."