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Morning Sun
  • Avenue of Flags displayed at Highland Park Cemetery for Memorial Day

  • The Avenue of Flags was on proud display Monday at Highland Park Cemetery.



    “We’re flying 855 flags today,” said Martin Dickinson of the Avenue of Flags organization. “It’s an awesome sight, and just imagine, we got them up in two  hours.”

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  • The Avenue of Flags was on proud display Monday at Highland Park Cemetery.
    “We’re flying 855 flags today,” said Martin Dickinson of the Avenue of Flags organization. “It’s an awesome sight, and just imagine, we got them up in two  hours.”
    Dickinson said that the flag poles were set up Sunday, then 80-plus volunteers turned out around 5 a.m. Monday to attach the flags, which are the burial flags of veterans donated to the organization for the annual display.
    “They were off flying,” Dickinson said.
    Weather  was warm and windy.
    “A couple of gusts were real problems, but we worked with it,” Dickinson said. “Some flag poles were bent over and we had some broken bungee cords.”
    A brief program was held at 1 p.m. Monday at the cemetery flag pole. Each year the flag for this pole is selected to honor a deceased veteran. This year it honored Denzel “Dale” Davidson Jr., who died July 18, 2010. The son of Denzel D. Davidson Sr., Pittsburg, and the late Francis (Culkin) Davidson, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1964 aboard the USS Destroyer Frank E. Evans.
    Jerry Waltrip, American Legion Post 64 chaplain, gave the invocation and benediction, and a firing squad from Veterans of  Foreign Wars Post 1158 gave the flag salute. The  memorial wreath was placed by members of American Legion Post 394, and Dalton Williams played Taps.
    The flag display remained on view until 4 p.m. when volunteers arrived to take everything down and prepare it for storage until next year.
    “We just have to be sure to put the flags back in the boxes in the right order,” said Matthew Dickinson. “That’s the order we’ll take them out next year.”
    Volunteers came from churches, civic organizations and scout packs and troops. Included were Carmen Seeley, husband Steven and son David, who is a member of Boy Scout Troop 151.
    “We try to attend as many years as we possibly can,” Seeley said as she and her son folded a flag. “My husband is taking down poles.”
    David and many others were wearing gloves to avoid soiling the flags. He was also being very careful as he and his mother maneuvered around folding the flags.
    "We don’t want to hurt the graves,” he said.
    “We’re being very respectful of them,” his mother added.
    The boxes of flags are stored in a building, but the Avenue of Flags organization is currently trying to raise funds for a new building.
    “We very much need a new building,” Martin Dickinson said. “Our current building has old-age spread and the middle of the roof is starting to sag down. We need to raise $35,000 for a new building and right now we have about $5,000.”
    Page 2 of 2 - A fundraising hamburger and hot dog feed will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Pritchett Pavilion at Immigrant Park. Cost will be $5 per person for a hamburger or hot dog, chips and a beverage, with proceeds going toward the cost of the new building.
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