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by Shirley Wallace,
American Legion Post 172
Over Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of flags will be flying in the Avenue of Flags at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mt. Ayr.
For each flag, a family has purchased a flag and pole in memory of their loved one and a tribute to the service they have given for their country. The cost of each flag and pole is $175. And the veteran must be deceased.
This time-laboring task was started in 1986 by a generous donation by Wilma Ellis in memory of her husband “Bunk.”
Bill Rusk, Bob Erickson, and Everett Reynolds started digging holes for 40 flags. Today’s count is now 318.
Dr. John Peters takes care of the awesome display of the Avenue of Flags. With the help of volunteers, Dr. Peters is in charge of getting the flags in the right spots Each year the flags need maintained and some of the poles need replaced because of winds. Some years because of strong winds and storms, the flags are not on display. Hundreds of hours are put into the display for Memorial Day. If you would like to help, call Dr, John Peters or come at the times shown below.
This year memorial events will start by finding the hole for the poles on Thursday, May 26 at 9:00 a.m. Friday the poles will be put in the cemetery. The 6th grade class will put small flags on the grave markers at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, May 28 at 8 a.m., flags will be put in place. Afterwards the Auxiliary will serve biscuits and gravy for the workers.
On May 30, the American Legion Post 172 will have a ceremony for Robert Graham and veterans at the Benton Cemetery at 9 a.m. After the Benton ceremony, members will move to Rose Hill at the grave of the unknown.
The flags will remain in place through Monday, May 30. Removal of the flags will begin at 3:00 p.m. Boy Scouts Pack 39 will remove the small flags from the graves.
There is a donation box at the entrance of the Rose Hill Cemetery if anyone would like to make a donation.