Honoring the fallen: U.S. flags to go up Thursday, Friday in city

U.S. flags line the median of U.S. Highway 31 in Cullman. (2016 photo courtesy of Ken Brown)
CULLMAN, Ala. – As the country prepares to honor those who have lost their lives in military service this Memorial Day Weekend, the Cullman Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2214 continues its annual tradition of placing American flags in the Cullman City Cemetery and the median of U.S. Highway 31. Started in the 1950s by WWII veteran Jimmy Caretti, this tradition sees substantial community support each year, and volunteers often come out en masse to help with the project.
The first part of the decorating happens on Thursday morning at Cullman City Cemetery, where VFW members, Boy Scouts and other community volunteers will come together to place hundreds of flags at the graves of veterans. The larger flags will be erected along Hwy. 31 on Friday morning by around 10-15 VFW members.
The VFW’s Ken Brown said the tradition is a great way to give back to the community, sharing, “We set these flags out four times a year- the 4th of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day and obviously Memorial Day. All us guys are in our 70s- I’m 76 myself- and we set out probably 900 flags at the cemetery with our other volunteers, and that’s not even counting the flags we set out on the highway. We have lots of people thanking us and saying how much they love it when we do this, and it’s just a great way for us to do something for our community and honor these other service members.”
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Heather Mann