Avenue of flags honoring fallen veterans

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Rows and rows of American Flags line the plots at Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery Wednesday in celebration of Veteran's Day.

The lines of flags are actually casket flags of fallen veterans that family members have donated to the Sons of the American Revolution.

"When you come out here it's so overwhelming to look at all these flags," says Francis Tuttle, who donated her late father's casket flag. "Just to think that all these people have served their country and now have passed; it's a very overwhelming thought."

Visitors are speechless as red, white, and blue flies high along the Avenue of Flags.

"The Avenue of Flags is a collection of casket flags," says Ted Harless, director of the Avenue of Flags.

Harless says SAR has been collecting casket flags for 26 years now.

"The family in donates the flag," says Harless. "Then we take the flags, number them, and put them up on Veteran's Day."

Boy Scouts come out every Veteran's Day and Memorial Day to help with the display.

"We have somewhere between 750 to 800 flags," says Zach DeFlice, a Boy Scout with the Troop 21 in Moss Bluff. "Individually I probably put up about 150 flags."

Families of fallen veterans say that there is no better way to honor war heroes than by flying their loved one's flags on a day set aside for veterans.

"They've had my dad's flag for 25 years, we donated it right after his death," says Francis Tuttle.

Francis Tuttle's father served in World War II.

"It was kind of a hard decision because you have to let go of something that was given to you for them passing away," says Tuttle.

Tuttle says she looks forward to finding his flag every Veteran's Day, and sharing her father's story with the world.

"It's just something we felt that the public could use to understand what it really means to celebrate this day," says Tuttle.

Sons of the American Revolution is always looking for casket flags to add to their collection.

If you have a flag you'd like to donate, contact Ted Harless at (337) 437-7810.

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