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Local History

Veterans remembered at National Cemetery

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/veteransre_2291.mp3

Memorial Day services were held at Springfield National Cemetery on Monday, June 1st. This feature, produced by Mike Smith, aired on Friday May 28th, previewed the event.

When a veteran is buried with military honors, an American flag is draped over the coffin, and after the service, presented to the next of kin. But often, the flags are placed in a drawer or closet, never again to wave in the wind. Several times of the year though, 250 of the flags flutter proudly in formation as part of the Springfield National Cemetery's "Avenue of Flags". On a windy day when the flags are flying, chimes can be heard as the banners lanyards let freedom gently ring against the flag poles.

Gary Edmunson is the Director of the Springfield National Cemetery. He says there is always a need for the flags, and hopes the families of deceased veterans will consider donation the flags to the cemetery for use in the "Avenue of Flags". He says in preparation for any of the six holidays when the flags are posted at the National Cemetery, volunteers and staff also place over 15,000 smaller flags next to the heroes buried there. Edmunson says he and all members of the NCA, the National Cemetery Association, are proud to be of service to veterans and their families.

Ralph Manley will be among those honored at Memorial Day services Monday. He says this time of year, he thinks a lot about his comrades in the 101st Airborne Division who jumped into Normandy the night before D-Day. Manley says those and all veterans make possible the freedoms we enjoy today.

Memorial Day services will begin at 10 am Monday at the Springfield National Cemetery, at the corner of Seminole and Glenstone in Springfield.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.