A Field of Flags Pays Tribute to Lives Lost

A collection of lights beaming into the sky. An empty Shabbat table. Now, a field of flags, each representing a life lost during Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel is on display at Beverly Gardens Park. 

Since the Oct. 7 attacks when more than 1,200 people were killed and hundreds were taken hostage, the city of Beverly Hills has shown strong support for Israel’s war in Gaza. Officials have repeatedly joined in the calls for the release of every hostage. In the newest demonstration of support, city officials and Israeli representatives held a somber memorial in front of the flags arrayed at Beverly Gardens Park on Jan. 25. 

“We invite the public … to walk through this field of flags, this field of souls,” Mayor Dr. Julian Gold said. “Reflect on the people, the mothers, fathers, the children, the daughters who were lost, citizens of the world who were massacred that day.”     

Gold hoped it will serve as a reminder to never let such atrocities happen again. And though he said it was hard to feel optimistic about that, the flag display could, at the very least, help residents and visitors find a sense of healing and work towards a resolution.

Walking through the flags after the ceremony, Gold said, “Standing amongst this, you feel the power of what happened.” 


A sea of flags on display at Beverly Gardens Park
Photos courtesy city of Beverly Hills

Israel Bachar, Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Southwest, said each flag represents the nationality of the deceased, showing that the Oct. 7 terror attack was a global tragedy that requiress a global response.   

“Today, we’re contributing to the global mission,” Bachar said. “We come together to remember their names, to remember their roots, and to proclaim that they will not have died in vain.”   

The memorial underscored Beverly Hills’ status as a model for solidarity with Israel that helps strengthen the bonds between the United States and Israel, Bachar said. 

In the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks, such solidarity is especially crucial, he said. 

Bachar spoke of a Jewish concept that each person is a universe, and the field of flags symbolized that “the universe was dismantled” on Oct. 7. The memorial is a reminder of the shared duty to repair this broken universe, Bachar said. 

“We must remain resolved to repair the universe of the Jewish people and the Jewish state and bring the remaining hostages home,” he added.

Bachar said that Israeli officials are hopeful to stop the fighting and are pushing for a diplomatic agreement that Hamas would no longer govern the Gaza Strip. 

“If they’re willing to do so and say that they’re surrendering, we’re more than happy to go for the diplomatic solution,” he said.