Published On: Thu, May 25th, 2017

Laurel’s Avenue of flags marks 30 years

LAUREL — Memorial Day is observed in Laurel each year with honor, passion, devotion and thankfulness for our servicemen.
This year marks the 30th straight year on Memorial Day, flags will fly high and mighty at the Laurel Cemetery.  The 202 red, white and blue banners to patriotism can be seen from miles away flowing in the wind.
American Legion Post 54 and the VFW Post 4504 fly the flags here each year at the cemetery in memory of the veterans of Laurel that have passed away.
Each of the 202 flags flown also has a name plate on each flag in memory of the veteran.
In 1987, at a meeting of the American Legion and VFW members a decision was made to fly flags on Memorial Day in memory of the veterans.  “The first year we dug 162 holes for the poles to fly the flags,” said Gene Twiford.
“We fly these flags because it is a patriotic thing to make sure we never forget what our veterans did for us,” he said. “We need to make sure all of the veterans that came home and those that didn’t are never forgotten.”
The veterans also fly 17 flags for the 17 servicemen that lost their lives on Aug. 5, 1944 when two B-17 bombers collided near Laurel.
These flags are flown high at the memorial that was dedicated on Memorial Day on May 29, 1989.
In addition to the 202 cemetery flags and the 17 memorial flags, the veterans place a wooden cross and a flag in a flag holder with the branch of service they served in on each veteran’s grave at the Laurel cemetery.
The Laurel American Legion Auxiliary Post 54 and the Laurel VFW Auxiliary Post 4504 also place flags on the graves of deceased auxiliary members.
“If anyone has not had a flag on their grave, please notify someone,” said Karen Thompson.
The veterans also go to Dixon and Concord on the Sunday before Memorial Day and provide a service.
A frame hangs on the wall at the Laurel VFW, in the frame are the words, “In Peace, sons bury their mothers and fathers.  In war, mothers and fathers bury their sons.”