The local American Legion post, which works with other organizations to place American flags on veterans’ graves in Bulloch County before each Memorial Day, is looking for more volunteers and more cemeteries.
American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90, two Boy Scout troops and Hodges-Moore Funeral Home are prepared to place up to 1,800 flags on Saturday, May 24, reports American Legion Post 90 Commander Terry Preslar.
“My concern is, if anybody would like to help us, that would be great, but the main thing is, if there’s a cemetery that we’re missing, we need to be told so that we can add it,” Preslar said.
If a group of volunteers would like to put up flags at a particular cemetery, Preslar will provide the flags. Boy Scouts place the flags in two large cemeteries, Eastside Cemetery and Bulloch Memorial Gardens, with help from Hodges-Moore Funeral Home, which buys some of the flags. Other volunteers recruited by the American Legion will place flags in at least 17 other cemeteries throughout the county.
The American Legion post has been leading this project for a decade or more, and the number of flags has increased as more cemeteries have been identified. Preslar and his wife recently visited Red Hill Church Cemetery and Lawrence Cemetery in the county’s southeastern corner to add these to the list.
The Legion post and the funeral home each have about 400 flags on hand, and Preslar has ordered 1,000 more. Measuring 8-by-12 inches on a 25-inch staff, the flags remain at the gravesites throughout the year.
“We replace them every Memorial Day,” Preslar said. “What we put out this year, we go back next year and replace them with new flags.”
The volunteers look for veterans’ markers and previous flags to determine which graves get flags. Old flags are replaced by new ones, “whether they’re a veteran or not, just to honor the deceased,” he said.
The Legion post spends about $2,000 on the flags each year.
Individuals or organizations volunteering to help or suggesting other cemeteries may call Preslar at (912) 682-2734. If you’re going to put up flags, a hammer is good to have, he said.