International Overdose Awareness Day observed in Williamsburg

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Hundreds of flags were placed on the Williamsburg Police Department’s lawn Thursday evening as International Overdose Awareness Day was observed. 

Williamsburg police came together with two local organizations — SpiritWorks Foundation and Bucktrout Funeral Homes — to create this memorial for the 686 Virginians who have died from overdose in 2018.

One flag was placed for each person who has died.

Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn called the display “a great opportunity to showcase our community partnerships as we bring awareness to this tragic issue.”

Police said the 686 flags will be removed following a remembrance service at Bruton Parish Church on Duke of Gloucester Street. The service is open to the public.

International Overdose Awareness Day is held every year on Aug. 31 in part to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and remember those who have died.

Rev. Jan M. Brown, executive director of SpiritWorks Foundation, said in a statement, “No community is immune to overdose and we hope the flag display helps our community understand just how staggering the statistics are, in our country, in our Commonwealth and in our town.”

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