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Avenue of Flags at Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery is a 32-year Memorial Day tradition

Every Memorial Day weekend since 1990, American flags have flown over Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery. Teams of volunteers work tirelessly to erect the flags on the Friday before, then take them down again on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

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Teams of volunteers were hard at work on Friday morning, May 27, 2022, erecting more than 650 full-size and 1,400 small American flags at Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery. The larger flags were once draped over the caskets of local military veterans, while the smaller ones are used to mark the graves of veterans buried at Oak Grove. The Avenue of Flags has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition every year since 1990.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — It's been a tradition every Memorial Day weekend since 1990: The Avenue of Flags dressing up Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery in red, white and blue.

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Volunteers Cindy Kunz and Matt Ryman worked to attach an American flag to its designated flagpole at Oak Grove Cemetery on Friday, May 27, 2022. The flag was one of more than 650 erected at the cemetery as part of the Avenue of Flags, an annual Memorial Day tradition at the cemetery.
Vicki Gerdes / Tribune

About 650 full-size, cotton flags that once draped the caskets of local military veterans are erected on flagpoles throughout the cemetery, by teams of volunteers that show up early on the Friday morning before Memorial Day, continuing throughout the day.

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Volunteers Jerry Doyea, Ken Frank and Jim Biewer worked to erect the service flags denoting each branch of the U.S. military, which grace the entrance to Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery during the annual Avenue of Flags display. More than 650 large and 1,400 small American flags fly over the cemetery throughout the holiday weekend.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

About 1,400 smaller flags are also placed next to the graves of military veterans buried at Oak Grove. The patriotic display is open to the public throughout the holiday weekend, with the flags continuing to fly until the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day.

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The flags flying over Oak Grove Cemetery during the annual Avenue of Flags display are a pretty impressive sight once finished.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
What to read next
Take a look at the houses featured from in and around the lakes area in the 2022 Fall Home magazine. Grab a hard copy at the newspaper office or your favorite news stand.
Stop by the newspaper office or your favorite news stand and pick up a free hard copy of the 2022 Best of the Lakes Area magazine.
Dahlquist has coordinated police science education since arriving at MSUM and, in the process, has taught and mentored a significant number of active-duty law enforcement officers in the Fargo-Moorhead region and many around the nation. He is a former member of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.
The trees are just standing there, giving off oxygen, eating toxins and providing beauty. I don't understand why they have to be cut down. I recently took a trip to northern Minnesota, driving on Highway 200 and there are miles of trees embracing the road. Please leave our scenic highway as it is for other generations to enjoy.