Couple works to honor our heroes
Memorial Day is a special day for many families. The special day is observed on the last Monday of May each year. It is a day to remember those who served in the military that died while serving our country.
Many areas have Memorial Day ceremonies in which they honor all of those that have fallen while serving their country. While Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died serving their country, it is also important to remember those who served their country, made it home, and have passed on as well.
Woodmen Cemetery in De Kalb has over 3000 graves, about 400 of which are veterans that have passed away.
Every year on the day before Memorial Day and the day before Veterans Day, Carol and Stan Flanery go to Woodmen Cemetery and put flags on all the resting places of the veterans there. Stan spoke to why he does this saying, “About 12 years ago I went to a Memorial Day ceremony at Woodmen and there were no flags on the graves, and there had always been flags there before. So, I asked the guy that was over the cemetery why there were no flags. He had told me that the Boy Scouts had decided not to do it anymore. I told him I would do it and I have been doing it ever since with the help of my wife and a few of my friends.”
Every year the day before Memorial Day and the day before Veterans Day they go out there put flags on the graves of veterans, and then the day after or late in the evening of the day they go and take back up all the flags. Many veterans have something about being a veteran on their headstone, but one of the biggest things they look for when putting out flags is the footstone, “Every veteran is eligible for a free footstone from the government. All they have to do is request one.”
Over the years that the couple have been doing it, the number of flags they have to put out has grown. Stan says, “When we first started doing this we had put out right at about 300 flags, now I am having to put out about 400 flags. We have replaced all the flags since we first started putting flags out and had to add about a hundred more flags as well.”
Replacing these flags does not come free of charge, however, they have had some help with that as well, “Whenever it comes time that we need to replace flags, Carol puts it on Facebook, and we have had several people volunteering to donate money to replace these flags or to add more flags. We are extremely grateful for those donations. I cannot thank them enough for the donations to help with these flags.”