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IJH Avenue of flags to be returned to their donors

July 16, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

U.S. flags donated as memorials for the Avenue of Flags at the Iowa Juvenile Home will be returned to those who originally donated them. A plan for their return was announced last week by Amy Lorentzen-McCoy. Iowa Department of Human Services public information officer, in an email to The Chronicle.

The flags were purchased as memorials or for recognition for IJH employees, veterans and other community members.

The flags which aren't sought for return will be donated to the Toledo American Legion Post 72 which will display them.

Article Photos

The Avenue of flags when it flew on the Iowa Juvenile home / State Training School for Girls campus in Toledo.
Chroincle file/John Speer

In an update on Tuesday, July 15, Duane Bossman, rural Toledo, said the flags are being returned this week and next and those not claimed are being accepted by the Toledo American Legion Post 72.

He said the original donor or person honored are the only ones the State of Iowa will release the flags to. In the case of flags in memory of a deceased family member to which several children could claim ownership, the state will only release the flag to the Legion Post, to avoid controversy of ownership.

To request return of a flag and the memorial display plaque, contact Lynette Kingery at the Iowa Department of Human Services at 515-725-2238 or by July 29. Bossman, a retired IJH employee who started the Avenue of flags program in 1991, may be contacted at 641-751-7730. (His telephone number was incorrect in a previous Chronicle story.)

The flags number about 90 according to Lorentzen-McCoy. Some flags deteriorated over the years and were respectfully retired, she wrote.

Concern was voiced by some over the Avenue and Flags when the Iowa Juvenile home / State Training School for Girls in Toledo was ordered closed on Jan. 15 by Gov.. Terry Branstad and DHS head Charles Palmer.

Lorentzen-McCoy said in the email, "Regarding the Avenue of Flags, the department must follow procedure for releasing state property. The flags have been inventoried and a deadline for their return or donation has been established."



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