Putting up nearly 450 veterans flags which are displayed at Oak Hill Cemetery for the Avenue of Flags on Memorial Day is a big task, Tama American Legion Post 73 Commander Dave Baier admits. Just as big of challenge is replacing these flags which have become weather-worn.
Many of the flags are of cotton and wool fabric and were flags used to drape veterans caskets at burial, then donated to line Oak Hill Cemetery roadways on Memorial Day.
Baier says he has had the replacement idea for a number of years and now has it fully underway.
Tama Legion Commander Dave Baier receives a check in the amount of $570 from Dot Chmelik, representing the Oak Hill Cemetery Association. The money represented donations from the recent drive to fund a new Veterans Memorial which was completed in May at Oak Hill Cemetery. It will be used to aid in purchase of repalcement flags for the Memerial Day veterans flag display at the cemetery.
New flags which are ordered as replacements are made of poly-nylon and measure 4 ft. x 6 ft. Not only will this material better withstand weather conditions, it will allow for the flags to be up for a longer period. The older, cotton-wool flags become difficult to manage when they become weighted down with rain water. The new flag replacements better shed water.
Dot Chmelik, Oak Hill Cemetery Society member, says at least some of those who gather are getting older so a longer time period to put up the flags will be helpful.
The replacement flags cost $30 for those who have family members who are veterans buried at Oak Hill, you may order a flag from Baier. The family may request return of the original flag from Baier.
There's more. Baier said when the Oak Hill project is complete he plans to take aim at replacing veterans' flags at St. Patrick Cemetery.