Throughout the Memorial Day weekend, many people worked behind the scenes at local cemeteries to honor fallen heroes. Lyndon American Legion Post No. 125 had their hands full.
Planning starts the Tuesday after Memorial Day the year before. Members maintain the flagpoles, flags and print new memorial tags. Thursday or Friday before Memorial Day, members begin placing flags on the fallen soldiers’ graves. Early on Saturday, members meet at their local post to gather the flags and nametags of fallen soldiers to put up in the Avenue of Flags.
After traveling to their assigned cemetery, they raise the flags and place the tags. About 10-12 hours later, they collect the flags for the night. They wake up early again the next day to put up the flags and get them back down again for safe keeping 10-12 hours later.
On Memorial Day, members woke up early to put up the flags, taking a small break before the ceremonies begin at local cemeteries. Post No. 125 held its first ceremony 10 a.m. at Lyndon, then traveled to Vassar for a 10:30 a.m. ceremony. The Post then met with Post No. 198 and Post No. 317 at the Pomona Spillway for a larger ceremony.
Following the Pomona ceremony, members traveled to Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo, for a final ceremony.
The flags and tags are then collected from the Avenue of Flags at 5 p.m. and returned to their post. By Tuesday or Wednesday following Memorial Day, the flags at the graves are all collected and also stored for the next year. All of the events are completed, rain or shine, each year.
The Legion members want the public to know that they do not do it out of obligation but out of love and for fallen comrades.
The American Legion is grateful to the public for donations to the Avenue of Flags. For more information on obtaining a tag and pole at Vassar or Lyndon cemeteries, contact American Legion Post No. 125 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the American Legion in your city to contribute.