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One person’s dream can make a difference: Avenue of Flags started 25 years ago

Memorial Day is observed this coming Monday; this holiday honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. One tradition in the Lennox community that honors our fallen veterans is the Avenue of Flags at the Lennox Cemetery, located just south of town. Twice a year, during Veterans Day and Memorial Day, burial flags are put up at the cemetery, when weather conditions allow. The sight is impressive as 115 flags are put up, each flag measures five foot by seven foot, each one represents a local veteran that has passed.

The idea for the Avenue of Flags was brought up in the 1990’s by Dorothy Drowden, her daughter Carol Burma remembered how it happened. She and her mother took a drive to Minnesota to see her father’s flag and uncle’s flag every Memorial Day.

“One year, my mother and I went driving through that cemetery in Minnesota, and she said, ‘Oh Carol, I wish we had that,” Burma remembered.

After seeing the Avenue Flags there, Drowden shared the idea with the Lennox Legion Auxiliary members. With a lot of help from Delores Ganschow, the idea became a reality a year later, in 1993 24 flags were placed at the Lennox Cemetery.

The flags are donated by Veteran’s families to be included. The family also purchases the pole and plaque, which cost about $150. A United States flag is provided by the military, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country.

At the Lennox Cemetery, 115 flags have been donated in honor of 115 Veterans, said Lennox American Legion Post Commander, John Kirchner. The plaques listing the veterans names are now housed in a case that was created by local Eagle Scout Alex Ruud.

Kirchner said Legion members volunteer to put up the flags twice a year when the weather conditions are cooperative. He estimates that it takes 12 to 15 people about 15 minutes to install and take down the massive flags. Kirchner said the Lennox Volunteer Fire Department helps

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