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Thursday, April 25, 2024

2009 Naperville Healing Field of Flags is featured in new mural


A new mural is now on permanent display in the hallway at the Edward Health & Fitness Center as part of the Healing Arts program.

“I went to work out a few days ago and saw the top portion of it and knew right away what it was,” said Dave Szablewski, one of several local residents who provided photos for PN. “I then started to talk to the staff to see who did this project and the inspiration for it.”

Szablewski’s tip led to Candace Olander, Healing Arts Director at Edward, who had coordinated the project with photographer Michael Bessler of Bes Photo.


“I went to see this amazing sight, the 2009 Naperville Healing Field of Honor at Rotary Hill,” wrote photographer Mike Bessler. “This event consisted of 2,009 American flags standing proudly atop 8 foot tall flag poles in the 3-acre park at Rotary Hill in downtown Naperville in a breathtaking display of patriotism on Veterans Day 2009.”

After spending a long time walking throughout the rows of flags, Bessler photographed the display from the front of Rotary Hill with the Moser Tower in the background.  This image consists of multiple images stitched together in order to produce such a high resolution final product.

Next Bessler said he shot the actual window frames in the Edward Hospital fitness center where the mural is hung, using the shots to construct the window frames and then put the image behind them. The image is printed on canvas and then coated with clear acrylic to help make it tough enough to withstand the traffic expected in the area, he said.

When visitors walk down the hallway at the Edward Health & Fitness Center, the 26 feet wide x 6 feet tall image now permanently on display, opens up and simulates looking out a series of six windows onto the Healing Field of Honor.

The 2009 Naperville Healing Field of Honor at Rotary Hill was considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.  Thanks to community interest,  in conjunction with Veterans Day 2012, the display of American flags again will be presented with 2,012 flags.

For details about the 2012 initiative, to sponsor or to purchase an individual flag, visit healingfield.org.

Edward Health & Fitness Center (Edward Hospital Campus) is located at 775 Brom Court.

Mike Bessler’s reply into PN’s inquiry about his work: I posted this write up about this mural on my web site BesPhoto.com as well as a link to Edward Foundation’s Naperville web site. I’m in the process of creating a straight on shot of the hung mural, but it will take some time. It’s in a 5 foot-wide hallway, so I have to be creative. The images on my web site have been altered to be more straight on than reality allows, and they’re not close to straight on.

I can print this image as one single canvas with or without the simulated window frames. I can also use another image. This image is on permanent display at Edward Hospital Fitness Center, Naperville, Illinois, as part of their Healing Arts program.

Thanks for the interest. I am very proud to have been a tiny part in the 2009 event after the fact. —Mike Bessler

Photos courtesy Candace  Olander


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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.


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